Amke Fischer was the star on day one of the CH London Open as she walked away with both the Mixed A Doubles and Women’s A Doubles titles.
Fischer won the Mixed with partner Dan Busby and Women’s with Zuzana Severinova. Meanwhile, the Men’s A Doubles was won by Leon Griffiths and Calum Reid who beat both seeded pairs en route to the title.
Elsewhere, PSA Squash World No.11, Alison Waters, made her racketlon debut, picking up a medal in the Mixed B Doubles.
Amke Fischer Extends Unbeaten Streak to 10 Matches
Not including results from last month’s Champions League, Amke Fischer’s unbeaten run has now extended to 10 matches across singles and doubles.
In the Women’s Doubles, Fischer teamed up with Zuzana Severinova for the first time to form a formidable pairing. The duo eased through their first match against British duo Lindsay Johnson-Farge and Jo Shelley.
In the final, they would face another British pair, squash specialists Matilda Parslow and Kim Hay. Parslow and Hay had produced a brilliant first result, stunning second seeds Hannah Boden and Kirsten Kaptein. They would face a tougher test in the final.
Fischer and Severinova opened a comfortable lead, winning table tennis and badminton 21-4 and 21-11 respectively. The Brits took the squash 21-5 to give themselves a small chance. However, the top seeds sealed the title with an 11-8 tennis victory.
Boden and Kaptein took third place after defeating Johnson-Farge and Shelley.
The Mixed Doubles win was just as impressive. Fischer teamed up with reigning World Mixed Doubles champion Dan Busby and the pair rolled through their opening game against Hannah Boden and Benjamin Graenicher without needing tennis.
That set up a final against top seeds Morten Jaksland and Zuzana Severinova, who beat Kirsten Kaptein and Anthony Duthuille. Fischer and Busby stole an early lead and never relinquished it. They won the table tennis 21-9 before extending that lead with a 21-15 badminton win.
A brutal 21-18 squash win for Fischer and Busby left Jaksland and Severinova too far back, handing the title to the second seeds.
For Fischer, that is a first Mixed Doubles title since the 2017 European Championships while it is a third of the season for Busby.
Griffiths and Reid Impress at Roehampton
Leon Griffiths and Calum Reid lifted the Men’s A Doubles title in a category which saw plenty of close matches.
The first round, in particular, threw up a trio of fascinating encounters. Most notable was at the bottom of the draw, where British juniors Luke Griffiths and Matthew Davidson almost managed to shock second seeds Dan Busby and Benjamin Graenicher.
Griffiths and Davidson won both the table tennis and tennis, with a heavy squash defeat the deciding factor in Busby and Graenicher’s victory.
There was another fierce match as Keith Lesser and Jean-Brice Montagnon pipped Johnny Bispham and Alistair Prades with a +6 overall win despite trailing in the tennis at various points.
Finally, the draw also put together a match involving four racketlon World Champions. Top seeds Morten Jaksland (current World Men’s Doubles champion) and Duncan Stahl (current +40 World Champion) faced Leon Griffiths (current U21 World Champion) and Calum Reid (former World Champion). Not a bad line-up at all.
It was Griffiths and Reid who had the killer edge though. The British duo won the first three sports to leave them needing just three in tennis. They had no issue reaching that to advance to the semi-finals.
The semi-finals were more routine affairs. Griffiths and Reid brushed Lesser and Montagnon. Busby and Graenicher also boasted a comfortable win, defeating British duo Ray Jordan and Alex Du Noyer in style.
That set up a final between the two-seeded pairs. In the final, Griffiths and Reid pulled ahead in both of the first two sports, only to be pegged back. In the end, they won 21-18 and 21-14 to establish a +10 lead. The win would be in no doubt after squash though, as Griffiths and Reid won 21-10 to seal the title.
This was Reid’s first title of the year while for Griffiths it was the second after his triumph at the IWT Latvian Open.
Squash’s Alison Waters Makes her Racketlon Debut
There was a lot of buzz around Roehampton surrounding PSA Squash No.11 Alison Waters making her racketlon debut. It’s fair to say the squash star got her money’s worth.
Partnering fellow local Paul Lindsay, the pair battled through two tight matches against experienced British duos in the Mixed B Doubles. First, they beat Jo and Kieran Shelley, before stunning Dianne Baker and Alistair Prades to reach the final. Both wins required Waters and Lindsay to play a full set of tennis.
In the final, they took on Lindsay Johnson-Farge and Jordan Dainty. The Brits had themselves fought through two extraordinarily tight games, beating Kim Hay and Jack Bishop by +2 and Matilda Parslow and Johnny Bispham +5.
In the final, their racketlon experience shone through. Johnson-Farge and Dainty opened up an enormous +36 lead before squash, after winning the first two sports 21-3. As expected, Waters and Lindsay dominated the squash, winning to four. Although, Dainty can claim the title of being the only player to take a point off of Waters all day after Waters put one shot in the tin.
Johnson-Farge and Dainty needed three in tennis, which they achieved with ease to win the title. Despite having success on the UK Racketlon tour, that is the duo’s first title together on the FIR World Tour.
Brits Dominate Other Categories
There was plenty for British fans to cheer about around the Roehampton Club as the home players swept up the remaining doubles titles.
In the Men’s B Doubles, it was a welcome return for Dave Ridout, playing his first tournament in three years. The Brit partnered Jack Bishop as they battled to the title. In the final, they edged experienced German pair Frank Kleiber and Volker Sach, an impressive final tennis set sealing the victory.
That was not the only final for Kleiber and Sach. The Germans faced another all-British pair in the Seniors +45 Doubles. This time, it was Mark Steeden and Simon Whale who beat them, albeit by a much closer margin. Steeden and Whale needed 10 in the tennis and almost didn’t reach it, eventually getting to 10 with Kleiber and Sach on 19. A +3 victory was enough for the Brits to claim the trophy.
The U21 category was exclusively Brits, with U16 World Doubles Champion Ross Wilson in the field. He would not lift the title alongside Ryan Bezer though. That honour fell to Will Gregson and Will Taylor, whose +6 win over Wilson and Bezer proved decisive.
Finally, there was plenty of support for local pair Justin Colver and Peter Crocombe, as they won the Men’s C Doubles on their racketlon debut. Colver and Crocombe produced some impressive tennis to reach the eight they needed to defeat top seeds Erik Roelofsen and Jan Wyler in the final.
A huge congratulations to all champions and players on day one.
The full live blog coverage of day one is available to read here.
The singles begin on Saturday with live blog coverage continuing across the weekend.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer