Zuzana Severinova won the DWT – SCHMÖLZER Women A Singles title in dramatic and historic fashion as she triumphed in the first-ever streamed Gummiarm Playoff.
Severinova took on Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Myriam Enmer in a three-player shoot-out for the title after all three managed two wins and one loss during the box league format.
In the end, Ahlmer snatched the silver while Enmer took home the bronze after having to play two tennis points against each other at the end of the Gummiarm Playoff.
A Gummiarm Playoff was forced after Enmer produced a career-best victory over Severinova earlier in the day. The World No.2 then recovered to edge past Ahlmer later on while Ahlmer had beaten Enmer earlier on Saturday.
Enmer Stuns Severinova for Biggest Win of her Career
Three matches into the DWT – SCHMÖLZER Women A Singles draw, everything looked like it was going to script. Top seeds Zuzana Severinova and Anna-Klara Ahlmer both won their opening matches in relatively comfortable style. Severinova took out Irina Olsacher after a clinical squash set while Ahmer defeated Myriam Enmer before tennis.
Both Severinova and Ahlmer needed to win their second game against Enmer and Olsacher respectively in order to set up the predicted final between World No.2 and World No.3 late on Saturday night. Ahlmer got the victory over Olsacher, although was saved by a brilliant 21-4 squash set after surprisingly losing the first two sports. Enmer did not read the script.
The French player reached the final here a year ago after defeating Bettina Bugl. One year later, she created more magic in Graz. After losing the table tennis 21-15, she turned things around on the badminton court, winning to 13 to take a two-point lead to squash. As expected, Severinova came out flying on the squash court, leading 11-1 at the turn.
Enmer refused to go down without a fight though. A big second half saw her pick up seven extra points to leave Severinova needing 10 in tennis. The Czech star is one of the best tennis players on the FIR World Tour. Enmer though is better. The French player played huge, attacking tennis to battle her way to 20-9. Approaching the net, Severinova put a forehand long, leaving Enmer with the biggest win of her young career so far.
Severinova and Enmer Victories Set Up Historic Gummiarm Playoff
Myriam Enmer’s win over Zuzana Severinova had huge ripple effects for the rest of the draw. Suddenly, the possibility of a Gummiarm Playoff was on everyone’s mind. That required Severinova to beat Ahlmer and Enmer to beat Olsacher for the three women to battle it out for the crown and for 1000 euros in prize money.
Enmer booked her spot in the Playoff with an utterly ruthless victory over Olsacher. The French star dismantled the Austrian on the badminton court to win before tennis. Now, all eyes were on Severinova against Ahlmer. The table tennis was neck-and-neck throughout, with Severinova’s defence eventually trumping Ahlmer attack to grab a 21-18 win.
Ahlmer fought back in style. A huge second half in the badminton set gave her a 21-11 victory and a seven-point lead. The pendulum swung back with Severinova in the squash. The World No.2 outmuscled and outmanoeuvred Ahlmer to win 21-10, leaving her needing 18 to win the match and take us to a Gummiarm Playoff.
That looked unlikely early on. Ahlmer raced to a big 6-0 lead, playing nerveless tennis to open up a commanding lead. Severinova fought hard to get into the set, using her powerful groundstrokes to win a number of points in a row. Severinova needed 18 points for the win and she got it… just. Her 19-18 loss was enough for the win and to force a Gummiarm Playoff.
Severinova Wins a Historic Gummiarm Playoff
That meant the Women’s A Singles title would be decided by 12 points. Ahlmer, Enmer and Severinova would play one point against each other in each sport. It was Severinova who made the fast start. Errors from Enmer and Ahlmer allowed her to win both points while Enmer beat Ahlmer on the table tennis table.
Severinova moved to four points after badminton. Choosing to receive both times she smashed fierce returns winners to move into an almost unassailable lead. That lead was solidified when Ahlmer edged Enmer on badminton to leave both women on one point heading to squash.
The gold medal was decided on the squash court. With Ahlmer and Enmer unable to win two points, Severinova’s five points were impossible to catch. Ahlmer and Enmer were left with two points each and fighting for silver.
On the tennis court, the new champion consolidated her win by defeating Anna-Klara Ahlmer before getting beaten by Enmer. With Ahlmer then defeating Enmer, the two were forced to face off in one final gummiarm for the silver. After losing the toss, as she, unfortunately, did every time, Enmer was forced to serve and her serve into the net guaranteed silver for Ahlmer and bronze for Enmer.
It was a historic night for racketlon fans while being incredibly tense for the three women involved. They will go down in history as being involved in the first streamed Gummiarm Playoff. A huge congratulations to all three women, and especially Zuzana Severinova for her successful campaign.
Severinova Wins Women’s Singles, Doubles & Mixed Doubles to Complete Triple Crown
That also means that she completes a remarkable Triple Crown on her first tournament of the season and adds three more titles to her total collection. This is also her first Super World Tour singles title and sets her up well for the remainder of the season.
For Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Myriam Enmer it’s a bitter-sweet feeling. To land on a podium in an SWT is an incredible achievement but to have come so close to glory is agonising as well. With question marks over whether Christine Seehofer will be at the World Singles Championships, both players will believe they have a strong shot at success.
All results from the DWT – SCHMÖLZER Women A Singles are available here.
The report from Friday’s Doubles Day is available here.
The report from the Men’s Singles Final and the Amateurs, Juniors and Seniors are all coming soon.
Sam Barker / FIR World Tour