Emanuel Schoepf defeated Dan Busby in the final of the RACKETLON.SHOP Men’s A Singles at the SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open to win the biggest title of his career.
The home favourite becomes the third Austrian man to win this title on home soil, joining Christoph Krenn and Georg Stoisser.
Trailing heading into tennis, Schoepf remained rock-solid to pick up his first Super World Tour level title, and first elite singles title since 2018.
Schoepf Outlasts Busby in Tense Final
As the two highest seeds at this SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open, there was a lot of excitement surrounding this match. Both players were searching for their first title in three years. Both were also competing in their first Super World Tour level final. For one player, this was guaranteed to be an unforgettable day.
When the match began, it was Schoepf who came out firing. Busby’s table tennis had been fantastic all weekend but it collapsed in the first half of the final, with Schoepf taking an 8-1 lead. Busby was struggling to get any attacking forehands into the court and a number of mistakes gave Schoepf a dream start.
He improved in the second half. The Brit fought back to eventually earn himself 10 points. The Austrian carried an 11 point lead into one of his strongest sports, badminton. Frustrated at his table tennis performance, Busby reignited his title challenge on the badminton court.
Utilising his impressive backhand and court presence, Busby kept up with Schoepf before beginning to pull away in the second half. To the surprise of some of the watching fans, Busby ended up snatching the badminton 21-17 to take four points off of Schoepf’s 11 point lead.
Squash was always a sport that Busby was likely to dominate and he did exactly that. Dominating the court and expertly utilising the boast, Busby cruised to a 21-7 win. That being said, Schoepf said he was pleased to have got seven when we spoke to him after the match. What did that mean? Busby needed 15 for the crown.
Schoepf’s Tennis Proves More Reliable Than Busby’s
From the first tennis point, the nerves were obvious. Both came out playing defensive tennis focused on slices and avoiding unforced errors. Much like the table tennis though, Schoepf quickly pulled ahead. His success was built on a number of superb backhand down-the-line passing shots as Busby tried to approach the net.
A flurry of double faults gifted Schoepf some more points as he moved to 11-3 at the change of ends. A brilliant lob at 13-6 down kicked Busby into life as he began to hunt down an increasingly nervous Schoepf.
In the end, though, Busby didn’t have enough left to stage an almighty comeback. A loose forehand drifted into the tramlines, leaving Schoepf to roar out his celebrations as he secured himself the title with a 21-12 victory.
That winning moment puts Schoepf in the history books as the 16th male player to secure a Super World Tour elite singles player. The win will also catapult the Austrian up towards the top-five and bank him €1000. With the World Singles Championships coming up soon it’s also a huge confidence boost and marks him as a contender for the title.
Schoepf and Busby were joined on the podium by Duncan Stahl after the Brit defeated Nikola Mikac before tennis in the Bronze Medal Match.
The story of how Busby and Schoepf reached the final can be read here.
The story of Zuzana Severinova completed her Triple Crown by winning the Women’s A Singles is available here.
The full report on the amateur, juniors and seniors categories will be published on Monday.
You can rewatch the whole final on Streamster.tv here.
Interested in entering a racketlon tournament? We’ve still got five open for entry between now and the end of the year, with entry categories for players of all ages and abilities.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer