On a day of shocks in Germany, Kresten Hougaard, Arnaud Genin and Zuzana Severinova were all shocked by unseeded players.
German players did most of the damage at the IWT German Open, with Hougaard losing to Cornelius Radermacher and Genin being defeated by Simon Vaclahovsky.
In the Women’s Singles, top seed Severinova was beaten by both Germany’s Amke Fischer and Denmark’s Stine Jacobsen in the group stage to knock her out of the competition.
Men’s A First Quarter: Jaksland Survives as Other Favourites Falter
The eight seeded players in the draw all received a bye through the first round so would have to wait to discover their first opponent.
World No.1 Morten Jaksland found himself taking on Loic Cencig after the Frenchman came through an epic first-round match against Thorsten Lentfer. In the end, Cencig won the opening contest by a single point after reaching the 19 he needed in tennis.
While Jaksland was never in too much danger, Cencig did put up a bit of a challenge. The Frenchman won the table tennis 21-15 but was slowly outclassed from there. Jaksland won the badminton and squash, leaving himself just eight to get in tennis, which he achieved with ease to become the first quarter-finalist.
In the quarter-finals, Jaksland would face Joerg Kanonenberg. The German had an impressive run, defeating Guus Van De Burgt before tennis before toppling No.7 seed Steffen Neumann after a dominant squash performance to reach the quarter-finals at the German Open for a third straight year.
In 2017 Kanonenberg lost to Jaksland in the quarter-finals and it would be the same fate in 2019. Jaksland proved his class, outscoring the German in the first three sports to win before tennis and book his place in the semi-finals.
Men’s A Second Quarter: Vaclahovsky Stuns Genin in Nussloch
The second quarter produced arguably the shock of the day as Germany’s Simon Vaclahovsky produced a brilliant display to stun third seed, Arnaud Genin.
Vaclahovsky, who had already produced a brilliant comeback in his opener against Frank Schiftner, dominated Genin across three of the four sports to produce one of the best wins of his career. Genin, who was suffering from an injured shoulder, couldn’t produce on the table tennis and tennis court.
In the quarter-finals, Vaclahovsky would face a familiar face in fellow German Christian Wiessner. The fifth seed took down Amsterdam Warriors captain Koen Hageraats in his opener before facing Vaclahovsky.
He couldn’t upset two seeds in a row. Vaclahovsky put up a valiant fight against Wiessner but his opponent’s badminton and tennis proved too strong, as he advanced to his first semi-finals since last year’s IWT Nussloch Open.
That leaves No.5 seed Christian Wiessner taking on No.1 Morten Jaksland for a spot in the IWT German Open final on Sunday morning. Jaksland leads the singles head-to-head 3-0 but has never had an easy match. Every previous contest has gone deep into tennis, most recently at the IWT Berlin Open this year where Jaksland snuck through with a 22-20 tennis win.
Men’s A Third Quarter: Stahl into First Semi-Finals Since 2017
The third quarter was the only to see both seeded players reach the quarter-finals. No.4 seed Duncan Stahl was the first to reach the quarters as he took out dangerous Swiss player Nicolas Lenggenhager in a tight encounter.
Christian Schaefer was the other seed in the section. He found himself facing Adarsh Narayanaswamy after the Indian took out Cyril Hohl in round one. Unfortunately, Narayanaswamy was forced to withdraw from his Round-of-16 match after badminton which put Schaefer into the quarter-finals.
Schaefer was in a good position against Stahl in the quarter-finals, leading by two heading to squash. However, the Brit flipped the scoreline, dominating the squash 21-8 and then getting the 11 needed in tennis to reach his first Men’s A singles semi-finals since the 2017 IWT Malta Open.
Men’s A Fourth Quarter: Hougaard’s Five Tournament Semi-Final Streak Ends
Kresten Hougaard had reached at least the semi-finals in his past five tournaments. That streak ended in Nussloch after Cornelius Radermacher produced breathtaking tennis to win 21-4 and eliminate the No.2 seed.
Radermacher had been touted as the most dangerous non-seeded player pre-tournament and lived up to that as he demolished Korbinein Heim +42 before tennis in his first round. After beating Hougaard, Radermacher then went on to eliminate No.6 seed Oliver Buhler in the quarter-finals, once again winning before tennis.
At the IWT Berlin Open earlier this year, Duncan Stahl and Cornelius Radermacher teamed up to win the Men’s Doubles title. Now the duo find themselves on opposite sides of the net as they battle for a place in the final on Sunday in Germany.
Women’s A Group A: Former German Open Champion Fischer Back in Final
Group A of the Women’s draw saw high-drama as top seed Zuzana Severinova was stunned by both Amke Fischer and Stine Jacobsen.
After winning the recent IWT Latvian Open, Severinova was looking to reach another final. But it was not to be as she suffered a narrow +3 loss to Jacobsen and +5 loss to Fischer.
That left the experienced pair of Fischer and Jacobsen battling to reach the final. In the end, it was a routine victory for Fischer. Dominance over table tennis and squash ensured that she reached her first final since giving birth.
Women’s A Group B: Ahlmer Makes it Back-to-Back Finals
In the final, Amke Fischer will take on No.2 seed Anna-Klara Ahlmer. The Swede was made to work hard to qualify for the final, especially by France’s Margaux Randjbar, whose tennis shone in the group stage format.
Ahlmer beat Randjbar by +6, dominant table tennis proving the decisive win. She backed that up with a comfortable +19 win over U21 World Champion Hannah Boden to guarantee a place in the final.
Randjbar then sealed a spot in the third-place playoff against Stine Jacobsen by beating Boden in the final match.
History is very much on Amke Fischer’s side in this final. The German has won all three of their previous meetings before tennis and has also won in the final here in Germany before. Will it be a case of history repeating itself or can Ahlmer produce something special in Nussloch?
Best of the Rest in Germany
Matilda Parslow lifted her second Women’s B title of the season in a fiercely competitive field, seeing off Tanja Omlin and Maxi Karg. The Brit emphasised her strength over the final two sports, winning all of her squash and tennis sets.
Frank Fuhrmann was the other player to lift a trophy on Saturday as he shocked top seed Dirk Skock to win the Men’s +55 singles in Germany.
On Friday the Men’s B/C Doubles was completed with Switzerland’s Benjamin Graenicher making a successful return from injury. He partnered fellow countryman Cyril Hohl to defeat Christian Heufelder and Patrick Oettl in the final.
In the Men’s B singles all seeds have already been eliminated. Tom Branke will play Anders Fyrst in one semi-final with Kai Zeuner playing Steven Buhler in the other.
The full results from Saturday at the IWT German Open can be seen here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Rob Wilde