Jaksland vs. Griffiths and Severinova vs. Ahlmer in the IWT Latvian Open Final

Top seeds Morten Jaksland and Zuzana Severinova both made it through to the final of the Men’s A and Women’s A singles.

Jaksland takes on British teenager Leon Griffiths while Severinova plays Anna-Klara Ahlmer.

Can Jaksland Beat a Hat-Trick of Brits?

Before facing Leon Griffiths in the final, Morten Jaksland has already had to navigate his way past two tough Brits. After beating home favourite Arturs Zaicevs in the first round, Jaksland next faced Luke Griffiths.

The younger Griffiths brother is a rising racketlon star but found the World No.1 too much of a challenge. Jaksland won 21-12, 21-16, 21-4  to seal a +31 victory before tennis.

In the semi-finals, Jaksland took on No.3 seed Dan Busby, another British player. Busby had impressed in defeating Marcel Weigl in the previous round and made a good early start against Jaksland.

Leading by two heading into squash things were looking positive for Busby. However, his squash deserted him as Jaksland put on a superb display to win 21-10. This left him needing 13 in tennis, which he managed with a 13-12 victory.

Defending champion Leon Griffiths had to fight his way past two seeds in his quest to retain the title. After beating Anthony Duthuille in the first round, Griffiths found himself facing fellow youngster Luka Penttinen in the quarter-finals.

Penttinen, the No.4 seed, won the table tennis 21-19. Griffiths turned the tide after that though, wining the next two 21-7 and 21-13 to leave himself needing just two in tennis, which he got in simple fashion.

The other quarter-final in the bottom half saw the battle of the FIR Presidents as current President Duncan Stahl met former President Kresten Hougaard. It was the former President who triumphed, defeating Stahl by +11 in a fierce contest.

That left Hougaard against Leon Griffiths in the semi-finals. Hougaard won the table tennis and squash 21-17 ad 22-20. However, Griffiths’ 21-7 badminton win left him chasing 14 in tennis.

He got the 14 he needed to book his spot back in the IWT Latvian Open final.

Griffiths and Jaksland are not only competing for the trophy in Latvia, but all important Victor Racketlon Series points, with Jaksland looking to leap into first-place after his joint-third in Berlin.

Zuzana Severinova a Step Closer to First Elite Singles Title

Zuzana Severinova emerged from Group A in the Women’s Singles to book herself into her fourth consecutive final. The World No.3 is still chasing her first FIR World Tour singles title and faces Anna-Klara Ahlmer in her latest attempt.

Severinova got revenge over Hannah Boden in the group, defeating her +16 despite trailing by one heading into tennis.

The World No.3 also dispatched Margaux Randjbar in the group, winning comfortably before tennis to book her spot in the final. Boden beat Randjbar and will contest the third-placed play-off.

Anna-Klara Ahlmer made short work of her opponents in Group B. The Swedish World No.5 crushed both Kirsten Kaptein and Viktorija Ratacova to reach her first Women’s A final since last year’s Austrian Open.

Can Severinova win her first elite level singles title or will Ahlmer pick up her first title since last year’s IWT Finnish Open?

Scandinavians Dominating the Other Categories

It’s been a successful tournament for Scandinavian players in the other categories. In the Men’s B there are three Swedes and a Dane in the semi-finals. Denmark’s Philip Pedersen is playing Jimmy Tay while Swedish duo Erik Botvidson and Jesper Hedlund face-off in the other semi.

Finland’s Kaisu Anttila is into her first first in the Women’s B as she takes on home player Anete Zabere.

It’s an all-Finnish final in the Men’s C as Ilari Ponkko faces Seppo Raiski. There’s another Finn in the +40 final as Tommi Laine takes on Sweden’s Par Gunnar Mattsson. There is also a Finnish presence in the +50 final as Pekka Tennila takes on Britain’s Bruce Shepherd.

You can stream the IWT Latvian Open finals on Sunday here.

The full results from Saturday’s play is available here.

Friday’s tournament report is available here.

Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer

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