Zuzana Severinova lived up to her billing as top seed, winning both the Women’s A Doubles and Mixed A Doubles at the IWT Latvian Open.
Severinova teamed up with regular partner Morten Jaksland in the Mixed Doubles and Margaux Randjbar in the Women’s Doubles. The two titles mean she now has an opportunity for a Triple Crown in Latvia.
Meanwhile it was another landmark moment for the Griffiths brothers as they teamed up to win the Men’s A Doubles title.
Jaksland and Severinova Win 3rd Title of the Year
Top seeds Zuzana Severinova and Morten Jaksland cemented their status as one of racketlon’s toughest mixed doubles duos in Riga, battling through the field to win their 3rd title of the year.
The duo opened against Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Leon Griffiths in what turned into a thrilling match. The top seeds narrowly edged the table tennis 21-17 before losing the badminton 21-12. A slender 22-20 squash victory left them trailing by three heading into tennis.
The pair are fearsome on the tennis court though, and proved their dominance with a convincing 21-7 win to book their spot in the final.
There was an upset in the bottom half of the draw as Margaux Randjbar and Luka Penttinen shocked second seeds Hannah Boden and Dan Busby in an epic.
Randjbar and Penttinen took an early 21-14 lead but a strong badminton and squash left the second seeds up by eight heading into tennis. Randjbar and Penttinen held their nerve though, sealing a 21-12 tennis victory to win the match by a single point.
This was a landmark moment as neither Randjbar or Penttinen had ever competed in a Mixed A final before.
The final itself showed the beauty of the racketlon scoring system, as Randjbar and Penttinen actually won three of the four sports but lost by 12 points.
The unseeded duo won the table tennis and badminton 21-19 to establish a four-point advantage. However, Severinova and Jaksland produced a crushing 21-4 squash result which left them needing nine in tennis.
The tennis finished 9-10, leaving Zuzana Severinova and Morten Jaksland as the IWT Latvian Open Mixed A Doubles Champions.
Severinova and Randjbar Team Up to Win Women’s Doubles
After trading blows in the Mixed Doubles final, Zuzana Severinova and Margaux Randjbar teamed up to stroll to the Women’s A Doubles title.
After a bye through the first round, the top seeds took on Kirsten Kaptein and home favourite Viktorija Ratacova. Severinova and Randjbar were in no mood to hang around, beating their opponents before tennis with a 21-15, 21-9, 21-9 scoreline.
In the final they took on second seeds Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Hannah Boden. They had strolled through their semi-final against Finnish pair Kaisu Anttila and Linnea Koskinen in equally impressive fashion.
While all the sports were competitive, it was Randjbar and Severinova who had the advantage in each. They won the first three 21-15, 21-17 and 21-15 to seal the title.
The women will now turn their attention to the Women’s A singles over the weekend as they look to earn valuable points in the Victor Racketlon Series. Can Zuzana Severinova win her first FIR World Tour elite singles title?
Griffiths Brothers Win All-British Men’s A Doubles Final
It was a good day for British fans in Latvia as four Brits contested the Men’s A Doubles final.
Top seeds Dan Busby and Duncan Stahl were the first into the final as they took down French duo Anthony Duthuille and Josselin Gade in the semi-finals, winning before tennis.
It was a closer match in the bottom half. Teenage brothers Luke and Leon Griffiths faced second seeds Luka Penttinen and Otto Tennila. The Finnish duo got off to a decent start, winning the table tennis 21-13.
The brothers bounced back in spectacular style though, winning the middle-two sports 21-4 and 21-15 to leave them needing four in tennis. They got the four quickly to advance to their first A grade final as a pair.
In the all-British final, it was the brothers who made the better start. They won the table tennis 21-16 before producing another badminton demolition, winning 21-5.
Busby and Stahl fought back in the squash though, using their experience to win 21-8. The Griffiths boys needed 14 in tennis but the top seeds refused to go away without a fight. They battled hard and made it to 17 before Leon and Luke reached the 14 they needed to seal the title.
A remarkable Men’s A Doubles title for the two teenage brothers, competing in their first elite FIR World Tour event as a pair.
Swedes Deny Latvians in Men’s B Doubles; Mixed B Final Still to Play
There would be no titles for hosts Latvia on Doubles day, although Ivo Keiss and Arturs Zaicevs went very close. The No.8 seeds made it to the final of the Men’s B Doubles, defeating top seeds Nicolas Lemercier and Jean Michot en route.
In the final though, they met unseeded Swedish duo Jesper Hedlund and Jimmy Tay who had dominated, particularly in table tennis, throughout the day. They themselves had beaten the No.2 seeds Bertrand Carlier and Michal Kurek in the semi-finals.
In the final, the Swedes raced away after a 21-4 table tennis result. 21-14 badminton and 21-19 squash wins for the Latvians gave them a sniff but Tay and Hedlund won the tennis 14-8 to close out the match and lift the trophy.
It is remarkable for Hedlund,who was competing in his first ever FIR World Tour Event. For seasoned player Jimmy Tay, this also marked a first FIR World Tour doubles title.
The Mixed B final will be played early on Saturday morning. Top seeds Kirsten Kaptein and Anthony Duthuille against Latvia’s Viktorija Ratacova and Jean Michot.
The full results from day one of the IWT Latvian Open are available here.
Live streams for the weekend are available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Inge Omey