We were delighted to see over 100 players descend on the outskirts of Switzerland because it meant that we finally have the return of a huge range of junior, senior and amateur categories.
The IWT Swiss Open was blessed with some fantastic competition across the board, with a range of winners from all around the world. Here’s our review of every single category.
Men’s B – Bandi Eliminates Two Seeds to Defend Title
After winning the Men’s B title at the IWT Swiss Open two years ago, Andre Bandi returned to defend his title. And the Swiss player dominated the category from start to finish.
Bandi began his campaign by smashing Christian Borner by 50 points before tennis to set up a quarter-final clash with No.1 seed Anthony Duthuille. Bandi’s toughest match of the tournament came against Duthuille but he eventually prevailed, thanks largely to a clinical 21-5 table tennis victory.
Fellow Swiss player Nicolas Champod was his next victim, with Bandi winning by 10 points. It was another seeded Frenchman who suffered at Bandi’s hands in the final, as Bertrand Carlier was carved up across all three sports, losing by +27 before tennis.
For Bandi, that’s now eight straight match victories after winning the last two Men’s B titles at the IWT Swiss Open. We hope we’ll get to see more of him in other tournaments throughout the rest of the year. It was also a landmark tournament for Carlier, who reached the final of a Men’s B Singles for the first time in his career.
The full Men’s B Singles results can be seen here.
Women’s B Singles – Ladner Also Defends Title
Speaking of defending Swiss Open B grade singles titles, Dara Ladner achieved the same feat. Two years ago she won four matches, including a slender +4 victory over Fabienne Dony in the final, to lift the prestigious trophy. She returned and won once again, albeit in less dramatic circumstances.
This year’s competition saw two groups of three players battle to qualify for the final. In the end, both groups were won by the top seed. Esther Duebendorfer dominated Group A, beating Sona Konigsmarkova and Susan Rutschmann in typical fashion.
Ladner’s route was much less comfortable than Duebendorfer’s. The youngster beat Gaelle Wavre but lost to Heike Voigt. However, Voigt’s loss to Wavre meant that the group was decided on countback, with Ladner triumphing to book her spot in the final.
Unfortunately, a busy weekend of action meant that Duebendorfer was forced to pull out of their final in the end, handing the trophy to Ladner. This is not the circumstances that she would have liked to have won but it’s a title defence nonetheless. Gaelle Wavre took the bronze after beating Sona Konigsmarkova with an eye-catching 21-0 tennis set.
The full Women’s B Singles results can be seen here.
Men’s C Singles – Bohm Battles to Blistering Title
In a category dominated by Swiss players, Germany’s young talent Bastian Bohm shone brightest to collect his first amateur trophy. Bohm is a player with a very bright future, having also finished as runner up in the U21 Singles and Men’s B Doubles in Switzerland.
Still with a few years to go before his 20th birthday, Bohm hardly put a foot wrong through the tournament. All four of his victims were Swiss, with Daniel Petazzi and Flavio Wolf his victims in the first two rounds. Bruno Scherrer suffered a defeat at the hands of Bohm in the semi-finals before Giovanni Gentile toppled in the final. His success centred around the back two sports as he went unbeaten at squash and tennis in his four matches.
Bohm now emerges as yet another name to keep an eye on over the coming years as the pool of teenage racketlon talent continues to grow. Gentile also had an impressive tournament, taking out No.3 seed and eventual bronze medallist on his way to the final.
The full Men’s C Singles results can be seen here.
Men’s D – Maxime Flies the Flag for France
One of the biggest storylines in recent years has been the emergence of France as a genuine powerhouse. Not only that though, but Racketlon France has also seen an increasing depth of players. This was evident once again in the Men’s D Singles as Armand Maxime cruised to the title.
A badminton hot-shot, Maxime lost just 15 badminton points in four matches, which provided the bedrock of his triumph. Like Bohm in the Men’s C, Maxime’s matches got increasingly closer as he progressed but he was never in any real danger of losing. In fact, he won his first three matches before tennis, including taking out seeds Sven Strassle and Andreas Stooss.
The final against Benjamin Kern was trickier. Kern had endured a tough couple of days, battling to a +2 win over Thomas Neupert and a +7 victory over Reto Ramusch on his way to the final. In the end, Kern ran out of steam, with Maxime winning three of the four sports to triumph with a +13 overall victory.
The first title for Maxime on his international racketlon debut. No doubt we’ll see more of him in the future as France’s pool of players continues to grow. Ramusch grabbed a bronze medal after beating Strassle in the bronze medal match.
The full Men’s D Singles results can be seen here.
First Timers – Table Tennis Success Guides Alaux to Title
It’s always hard to write a preview for a first-timers category when you have five complete unknowns competing for the crown. In the end, it was Timothee Alaux who took home the trophy after his table tennis prowess helped guide him to four victories.
Alaux’s closest challenger was Joel Hunziker, who actually only lost four of his 16 sets across the weekend. Ultimately though, Alaux pipped Hunziker in their clash to take home the title while David Castro Alvarez clinched third place.
The full first-timers results can be seen here.
Junior U13 Singles – Zahn Beats Bohm in Close Final
We’ve already had one Bohm youngster win a title at the IWT Swiss Open and we almost had another in the Junior U13 Singles.
Similar to the Women’s B Singles, this was two groups of players battling to top the group and faceoff in the final. Toni Bohm was the top seed in Group A and quite rightly so. The young German cruised past Ylvie Zahn and Nils Neupert, winning all six sets and both matches before tennis.
Facing him in the final was Henri Zahn. The fellow German also made light work of his three matches, winning all nine sets and all three of his matches before tennis. It was a high-quality final between these two talented youngsters.
Zahn took the lead early on with a 21-11 victory in table tennis before slightly adding to that lead with a 21-19 badminton win. Bohm battled back in squash, coming out a 21-12 winner. In the end, though, Zahn took the win with a 19-13 tennis set victory and a +9 win overall.
A huge congrats to all of them for competing and for Ylvie Zahn for finishing third and ensuring that two Zahn’s are on the podium.
The full Juniors U13 Singles results can be seen here.
Juniors U16 Singles – Dvorak Lives Up to Billing as Top Seed
Lukas Dvorak entered the Juniors U16 Singles as the heavy favourite and lived up to his billing with a superb set of performances.
The Czech youngster won all four of his matches and 12 of his 13 sets, dropping just one to table tennis star Peter Waddicor. Dvorak was joined on the podium by a pair of local players. Nils Morgenthaler finished in second after winning three of his four matches, while Lucas Mateo Moreno took the bronze medal.
Moreno’s bronze was sealed with an incredible gummiarm win over Gauthier Bouteille, winning the tennis set 21-3 beforehand. Undoubtedly one of the most incredible performances of the weekend.
The full Juniors U16 Singles results can be seen here.
Juniors U21 Singles – Mamie Beats Andrey in High-Quality Final
He may have reached the semi-finals of the Men’s A competition but Yannic Andrey was no match for Leon Mamie in the final of the Juniors U21 Singles.
As with many of the other categories, this was a six-player competition with two box leagues. David Ersil was the top seed in Group A but was forced to withdraw meaning it was a shoot-out between Mamie and Bastian Bohm for a spot in the final. In the end, Mamie snuck past Bohm with a +6 victory – although it was another impressive display for Bohm after his Men’s C Singles triumph.
Group B was not quite as dramatic as Group A. Yannic Andrey cruised into the final after two crushing victories over Lukas Dvorak and Luca Harmon. He couldn’t replicate that in the final though. Mamie dominated Andrey, winning the first three sports 21-16, 21-12 and 21-18. He then finished it off with a brief 5-2 tennis victory. It’s an impressive win for Mamie over the U18 World Champion and marks him down as another youngster to keep an eye on moving forward.
The full Juniors U21 Singles results can be seen here.
Men’s Seniors +40 Singles – Clinical Hobi Strolls to Success
It was an intriguing Seniors +40 field with seeds Mohammed Tarik Koubaa and Christian Borner joined by impressive Swiss trio Nico Hobi, Raphael Paglia and Magnus Ekstrand.
It wasn’t a surprise to see Hobi, Paglia and Ekstrand in the semi-finals alongside Koubaa. While Hobi blew past Koubaa in eye-catching style, Paglia and Ekstrand produced a classic match, with Ekstrand edging a narrow +4 win.
In the final, Hobi’s table tennis and tennis helped him secure the first international title since the 2014 IWT Swiss Open. After splitting the badminton and squash, he won the table tennis 21-14 and then the tennis 15-4. An impressive array of performances and an impressive tile from Hobi.
The full Men’s Seniors +40 Singles results can be found here.
Women’s Seniors Singles – Duebendorfer Remains Queen of Switzerland
IWT Swiss Open champion in the Women’s Seniors Singles in 2016, 2017 and 2019, there was a feeling of inevitability about Esther Duebendorfer in this year’s Women’s Seniors Singles.
Once again Duebendorfer dominated the category. Taking on familiar faces Katrin Maldre and Susan Rutschmann, Duebendorfer was her usual clinical self. The Swiss star won both before tennis, and only dropped one set of table tennis against Maldre all day.
Can anyone truly stop Duebendorfer from dominating the Women’s Seniors in Switzerland for years to come?
The full Women’s Seniors Singles results can be found here.
Men’s Seniors +50 Singles – Knaack Trumps Ladner
Thomas Knaack took home the silverware in a draw featuring an array of famous racketlon faces. Knaack was joined by the likes of Manfred Grab, Frank Kleiber, Beat Ladner and Graham King in a draw stacked full of talent.
In the end, though, it was Knaack that prevailed with some racketlon brilliance. The German took out three Swiss players on his way to the title. First, he dismantled Graham King, before eliminating Giovanni Gentile in the semi-finals.
In the final, Knaack faced Beat Ladner. Unfortunately, Ladner was no match for Knaack’s quality, with a 21-2 badminton victory being the catalyst for the title. Remarkably, that’s Knaack’s first senior singles title since 2015.
The full Men’s Seniors +50 Singles results can be found here.
Men’s B/C Doubles – Carlier and Duthuille Run Away With Doubles Title
The weekend wasn’t just exclusively singles action. Friday also saw three amateur doubles classes, with the Men’s B/C Doubles the first that we’re going to have a look at.
French duo Bertrand Carlier and Anthony Duthuille were the top seeds in the draw and they certainly lived up to their potential. After a bye through the first round, the duo took out Mounir Benheddi and Nihit Kumar Singh in their opening before dispatching Frank Kleiber and Thomas Knaack in the semi-finals.
We mentioned earlier that Bastian Bohm reached the doubles final and he did that alongside Frank Bohm. They impressively beat No.4 seeds David Ersil and Lukas Dvorak, as well as Switzerland’s Noah Mamie and Julien Meister in the semi-finals.
The turning point in the final was a ruthless badminton set from the top seeds. After losing the table tennis 21-15, Carlier and Duthuille turned it on, winning the badminton 21-8 and then following that up with a 21-10 squash victory. They reached the four points they needed in tennis with ease, sealing themselves a well-deserved title. Mamie and Meister beat Kleiber and Knaack to the bronze medal.
The full Men’s B/C Doubles results can be found here.
Women’s B Doubles – Duebendorfer and Maldre Win Trophy Without Tennis Rackets
It’s always an impressive feat to win a trophy without having to take your tennis racket out of your bag. That is exactly what Esther Duebendorfer and Katrin Maldre managed in the Women’s B Doubles as they rolled to the title with ease.
In the opening round, they eliminated Sonia Bornand and Ulyana Melnychuk before beating Sona Konigsmarkova and Susan Rutschmann in the final. Both were before tennis and the only set that they lost as a pair was a 22-20 badminton set against the latter pair.
Another Swiss Open trophy for Duebendorfer to add to her huge collection.
The full Women’s B Double results can be found here.
Mixed B Doubles – Wavre and Lenggenhager Win Final of the Tournament
Talk about saving the best until last. The Mixed B Doubles final was an absolute thriller. In fact, the whole draw was a thriller with many close matches, as predicted. Heike Voigt and Thomas Knaack eliminated No.2 seeds Kirsten Kaptein and Graham King by just seven points. Voigt and Knaack were then taken out by Gaelle Wavre and Nicolas Lenggenhager in the semi-finals with just eight points separating them.
The best match came in the final though. Wavre and Lenggenhager found themselves facing top seeds Esther Duebendorfer and Anthony Duthuille. The Swiss pair raced into the lead after winning the first two sports 21-18 and 21-10. The fightback then began with the top seeds taking the squash 21-15 and the tennis 21-13 leading to a gummiarm.
Despite momentum being on their side, Duebendorfer and Duthuille could not capitalise. In the end, it was Wavre and Lenggenhager who won the gummiarm and consequently the title. A particularly special achievement for Wavre who was competing in her first international tournament.
The full Mixed B Doubles results can be seen here.
Further IWT Swiss Open reports can be found here:
Interested in playing racketlon yourself? Check out the 2021 FIR World Tour. All remaining tournaments are open for player entry, with classes for players of all ages and abilities.
The next stop on the calendar is the long-awaited return of the CHA Romanian Open.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image / Rene Zwald