Magnus Eliasson impressed in his first FIR World Tour match in 8 years as he advanced to the quarter-finals of the GRAWE sidebyside 14. Austrian Open.
The three-time world champion took down the No.4 seed Nicolas Lenggenhager +9 (21-10, 7-21, 21-7, 11-13) to set up a match against Georg Stoisser on Saturday.
Elsewhere, No.2 seed Bernhard Pilsz was shocked by Mohammed Tarik Koubaa who rallied after losing the table tennis to win +22 (18-21, 21-9, 21-8).
Eliasson wins the first 9 points on way to victory
Any questions about whether Magnus Eliasson was going to struggle on his return were swiftly answered when he won the first 9 points in table tennis. It was a blistering start and a reminder of why the Swede has won this tournament four times in the past.
He didn’t have it all his own way though. After Eliasson won the table tennis comfortably, Lenggenhager dominated the badminton, winning 21-7 to lead by 3. That lead was quickly erased as Eliasson controlled the squash set 21-7, leaving him needing 11 on the tennis court.
The tennis was neck-and-neck throughout the set and Eliasson reached 11 with Lenggenhager on 13 to secure a +9 victory. In the quarter-finals, he’ll take on Austria’s Georg Stoisser who made light work of Ahmad Jafari. This match, first up on court at 11:00CET, should be a blockbuster – can Eliasson go even deeper into the tournament?
Koubaa takes down Pilsz in upset of the day
Although Eliasson also took down a seed, the upset of the day has to go to Mohammed Tarik Koubaa. The Moroccan thrilled with his performance against the No.2 seed Bernhard Pilsz, shocking the Austrian at his home tournament.
After grabbing 18 in table tennis, Koubaa dominated the middle two sports. A 21-9 badminton win coupled with an impressive 21-8 squash performance – where he dropped just two points in the second half – has set up a quarter-final against French alternate Mandrin Mouchet. Mouchet strolled past Michael Moitzi in the first round, winning by +31 before tennis. Mouchet won their only previous meeting, but only by five points back in 2018.
Quiet day on the tennis court
In fact, it was a quiet day all around on the tennis court. Of the eight first-round matches, the only one that saw any tennis was Eliasson against Lenggenhager.
The top half of the draw saw four blowouts as two French and two Austrian players progressed to the quarter-finals.
Top seed Emanuel Schoepf dominated his opener against fellow Austrian Jonas Grafeneder, another alternate. He’ll face France’s Martin Abrami in the quarter-finals. Abrami won the battle of the youngsters as he strolled past David Ersil, a 21-4 badminton victory looking particularly eye-catching.
The other quarter-final will see experienced racketlon stars Marcel Weigl and Sylvain Ternon collide. Both put down statement wins on the opening day with Weigl beating Afghanistan’s Lotfullah Yusufi and Ternon taking care of Florian Harca.
The Men’s Singles quarter-finals begin at 11:00CET on Saturday with the semi-finals at 16:00CET and the final at 20:30CET. You can watch every single match here.
You can also rewatch all the action from day 1 of the tournament here.
The full results from the first day of the GRAWE sidebyside 14. Austrian Open are available here.
The Men’s Doubles report is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Alex Rieck