Martina Meissl and Jonas Grafeneder beat Myriam Enmer and Nicolas Lenggenhager to win the Mixed Doubles title at the GRAWE sidebyside 14. Austrian Open.
The Austrian pair triumphed +13 (21-10, 11-21, 21-11, 11-9) in the final. Earlier on Sunday, they knocked out the top seeds Bettina Bugl and Bernhard Pilsz.
The win is Meissl’s second Mixed Doubles title on the FIR World Tour. Meanwhile, Grafeneder becomes the 130th player to win a Mixed Doubles title at the elite level.
Bugl and Pilsz finished with the bronze medal after beating Sona Konigsmarkova and David Ersil.
Meissl and Grafeneder knock out top seeds Bugl and Pilsz
With just four pairs in the draw, the day began with the semi-finals. First up on court was an all-Austrian clash with the top seeds Bugl and Pilsz taking on Meissl and Grafeneder.
With the four players knowing each other’s styles pretty well it was little surprise that this was such a close match. Bugl and Pilsz took the table tennis 21-17 before Meissl and retaliated with a 21-12 badminton win. The top seeds led the squash throughout but a late flurry from Grafeneder saw the challengers sneak a 21-19 squash win.
That left Meissl and Grafeneder needing 15 on the tennis court to complete the upset. In the end, the tennis set was fiercely close from start to finish. The match finished with the tennis at 15-16 following a Grafeneder volley winner. Meissl and Grafeneder were into the final as the top seeds crashed out early.
The second semi-final was a much more clinical affair. Nicolas Lenggenhager was partnered with debutant Myriam Enmer. David Ersil’s partner Sona Konigsmarkova was also competing in her first FIR World Tour competition.
It was Lenggenhager and Enmer who dominated this match. A 21-7 table tennis victory set the tone and they quickly followed with a 21-10 badminton win as well. That lead could never be recovered by the Czech pair who lost the squash 22-20 to send the No.2 seeds, Lenggenhager and Enmer into the final.
Meissl and Grafeneder outclass opponents to take home title
The first thing that was notable as the final got underway was how good it was to see three left-handed players on the court – all but Enmer. The second was that Austrians had won every event so far. Could Meissl and Grafeneder keep that run going?
After strolling through their semi-final Enmer and Lenggenhager began the final in a similar fashion, winning the first 4 points of the table tennis. That is where their success ended in the first sport.
Meissl and Grafeneder proceeded to win 21 of the next 27 points to take the table tennis 21-10. That superb performance left the Austrians leading by 11 into badminton.
The badminton was a tale of two halves. The first half was a tight affair throughout, with the No.2 seeds taking a slender 11-8 lead into the break. In the second half, they dominated though, dropping just 3 points to win 21-11 and reduce the Austrian lead to just one point.
Experience proved crucial in the first half of the squash as Meissl won 11-3 against Enmer to open up a healthy lead for Grafeneder to work with. That was more than enough for Grafeneder who looked exhausted but pleased as he walked away from the squash court with a 21-11 win.
11 points in tennis would mean a title for Meissl and Grafeneder. In the warm-up, it seemed that Enmer was the best player on the court, giving the second seeds a chance. That became clear as the match started with Enmer and Grafeneder taking an 8-3 lead.
As with the table tennis set though, the Austrians grew into the match. They dropped just one more point on their way to the title, winning 11-9 to secure the Mixed Doubles title.
Austrians surging at home tournament
The win for Meissl and Grafeneder continues a superb weekend for Austria. With Georg Stoisser winning the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles with Emanuel Schoepf, Austria fans will be hoping for a clean sweep. Women’s Singles is the final category remaining with Christine Seehofer the favourite in the draw.
The full results from the Mixed Doubles are available here.
You can rewatch the semi-finals and final here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer