Christine Seehofer defeated Myriam Enmer in Graz to win her fifth Austrian Open title in a row.
Debutant Enmer could not keep up with the World No.1, as Seehofer won +35 (21-6, 21-16, 21-6) in the last match of a unique tournament.
The victory in the final of the GRAWE sidebyside 14. Austrian Open was also a historic one for Seehofer. That marked her 100th consecutive singles win on the FIR World Tour, a feat only previous achieved by Jesper Ratzer.
Bugl took home the bronze medal after defeating Birdit Seiner. Earlier in the day, Bugl was eliminated by Enmer who emerged as a potential star of the future this weekend.
Bugl holds off Meissl threat in first round
At the start of the Women’s Singles tournament, all eyes were on a first-round clash between Bettina Bugl and Martina Meissl. The Austrians know each other well have faced three times in the past, and the last two-time Meissl has defied the rankings to secure a victory.
Meissl had recorded a victory over Bugl in the Mixed Doubles earlier on Sunday. She would not repeat that result in the singles. The No.2 seed, Bugl, took the table tennis 21-13 before keeping it tight in the badminton with a 17-21 loss. Meissl moved into prime position after winning the squash 21-13 but drama struck early in the tennis.
Meissl suffered an injury to her leg early in the tennis and was struggling to move in between points. After being neck-and-neck early in the tennis Bugl capitalised, storming ahead to win 21-10 with a really solid performance. Revenge for Bugl after her loss at the IWT Vienna Classics earlier this year.
The other three quarter-finals were one-sided affairs. As expected, world No.1 Christine Seehofer cruised past Sona Konigsmarkova to record her 98th singles win in a row. Birgit Seiner, stepping in late as an alternate, took care of Martina Nost despite losing the badminton 21-0.
The most impressive quarter-final win came from debutant Myriam Enmer. The French Player won 21-2, 21-4, 21-4 to produce a crushing +53 win before tennis.
Enmer stuns Bugl as Seehofer reaches 99 wins
The expectation was that the Austrian Open was going to see another final between Seehofer and Bugl. The top two seeds have a rich history at this tournament, with Seehofer having won every edition since 2015.
Myriam Enmer had other ideas. The debutant took on Bettina Bugl and came racing out with some of the most attacking table tennis we’ve seen this weekend. Bugl eventually won the set but only 21-18. Badminton was where Enmer came alive though, racing to a 21-11 victory with some terrific play.
In the squash warm-up, it looked like Bugl was the more capable player but Enmer made life difficult. The energetic French player, similarly to table tennis, won 18 points, leaving her with a four-point lead heading into her strongest sport, tennis.
To start with the tennis was a close contest. In the first half, a number of forehand errors from Enmer kept the game tight. A second-serve ace changed the momentum of the match and Enmer raced away to an 18-10 victory, sealing her spot in the final on her FIR World Tour debut.
For Seehofer it was very much business as usual. Taking on Seiner, the World No.1 dropped just three points across the first two sports. As a squash expert, Seiner expectedly dominated the squash with a 21-8 triumph but by that point, it didn’t matter. Win number 99 for Seehofer and she was into the Austrian Open once again.
Seehofer shows class to win the title and reach 100 straight victories
It was clear in her first two matches that Seehofer was playing smart and conserving her energy. In the final though, she was at her free-flowing best. In table tennis, Seehofer stifled Enmer’s forehand by targeting the backhand and keeping the ball low. This left Enmer will few ways to break down the Austrian and she walked away from table tennis with just six points.
The French player had more luck in badminton. The set was one of the best all weekend, with both players producing winners in long, tough rallies. Seehofer took a slender 11-10 lead into the turn with both players knowing how important the second half was in the match. In the end, it was Seehofer that overpowered her opponent, taking the badminton 21-16 to increase her lead to +20.
It was always going to be a tough task for Enmer given Seehofer’s squash prowess. Seehofer dominated the squash from the start, rolling to a 21-6 win to take home the title without needing her tennis racket.
Regardless of the result, it was an unforgettable weekend for Myriam Enmer. The French player reached a Super World Tour final in her first-ever FIR World Tour tournament and beat a top-5 player. We hope to see plenty more of Enmer on the Tour in the future.
Christine Seehofer – the greatest of all time?
For Seehofer it’s a historic weekend. She wins her fifth Austrian Open title – more than any other man or woman. She wins her 100th consecutive singles match on the FIR World Tour. She becomes the first player, male or female, to win 40 FIR World Tour singles titles. She becomes the first player, male or female, to win 10 Super World Tour singles level titles.
It also completed a clean sweep for Austrian players who won every trophy at the tournament.
Seehofer now looks ahead to 2021 as she hopes to win the FIR World Championships in her home country.
The full results from the Women’s Singles are available here.
The replay of the Women’s Singles final is available to watch here.
That concludes the 2020 FIR World Tour. We look forward to returning – hopefully with everyone – in 2021.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer