Kresten Hougaard and Astrid Reimer-Kern both triumphed in their finals to win the IWT Swiss Open.
Hougaard battled through an intense final against Arnaud Genin to pick up his first singles title of the season.
In the Women’s A, Reimer-Kern won the all-German battle, defeating Silke Altmann for the second time in a month to claim her second title of the year.
Elsewhere there was plenty for Swiss fans to celebrate as Dara Ladner and Andre Bandi won the Women’s B and Men’s B singles title respectively.
Hougaard Battles Past Genin in Fierce Final
Given how much Kresten Hougaard and Arnaud Genin play on the FIR World Tour it felt slightly odd that they had not met already this year.
However, the match was well worth the wait. After being forced to withdraw from the King of Rackets final with an injury, and losing the final here by a single point two years ago, Hougaard was fired up.
He roared to an early lead, carving through the Frenchman’s defences to win the table tennis 21-9. As has come to be expected, Genin repaired that damage in the badminton, winning 21-5 to lead by four at the halfway mark.
The squash was probably the pivotal turning point in the match. After beating former PSA pro Dan Busby 21-9 in the semi-finals, Genin would have been confident coming into the final. Hougaard made sure that confidence didn’t last, dominating proceedings to win 21-8.
That left the top seed needing 13 on the tennis court to seal a first title in his fourth final of the year. The Dane never looked like faltering, edging ahead of Genin and then remaining ahead, sealing the title with a 13-7 win.
After the match, Hougaard said, “I really wanted to win this one after last year’s loss [by one point to Patrick Lorenz]. My game and body both feel really good at the moment, which gives me confidence for the rest of the season.”
That is Hougaard’s first title since the 2018 Club La Santa Open and will give him plenty of confidence heading into the second half of the season.
Dan Busby took the bronze medal after defeating Bernhard Pilsz in a tight match.
Reimer-Kern Retains IWT Swiss Open Crown
An all-German final between Astrid Reimer-Kern and Silke Altmann was the deciding match in the Women’s A Box League.
With Reimer-Kern beating Altmann comfortably at the King of Rackets, she held the obvious advantage.
It was Altmann who got off to the better start this time out though. She edged both of the first two sports, winning table tennis 21-17 and badminton 24-22 to lead by six before squash.
However, Reimer-Kern is currently ranked inside the top-150 in the PSA rankings and used every inch of her squash quality to win 21-2. This left her needing just nine on the tennis court.
Any chance of an Altmann comeback was stifled early as Reimer-Kern snuck ahead. She won the tennis 9-3 to clinch a second Tour singles title in two months.
“I’m very happy with the way I played and to defend my title”, Reimer-Kern said after the final. “My table tennis improved a lot and I’m really looking forward to the World Championships.
It’s been a superb couple of months for Reimer-Kern, whose title here could see her rise back into the top-10 once again when the new rankings come out at the end of the month.
Nicole Eisler took third after dispatching Kirsten Kaptein.
Swiss Dominate Other Events
The tournament was a real success story for the hosts, who picked up gold in eight of the other 11 singles categories.
Dara Ladner’s +4 victory over Fabienne Dony was enough to see her clinch the Women’s B title, her first ever international singles crown.
There was also a maiden international title for Andre Bandi, with the Swiss player winning the Men’s B title in just his second tournament.
Sven Strassle won the Men’s D while Marco Baldinger scooped up the Men’s First Timers trophy. The Women’s First Timers trophy also landed in Swiss hands as Fabienne Blanc won.
It was a hugely successful weekend for the Dubendorfer family. Esther Dubendorfer won the Women’s Seniors +40 while Julietta won the Girls U10 and Victoria won the Girls U13.
The non-Swiss champions were ironically also a family. Volker Sach won the Men’s C title and also the Seniors +50. Meanwhile, Tom Sach picked up the U13 to ensure that all the Sach’s left Zurich with a medal.
The next event on the FIR World Tour is the IWT Latvian Open, with entry open here.
The IWT Swiss Open day one report is available here.
The IWT Swiss Open day two report is available here.
The full FIR World Tour is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Rene Zwald