Luka Penttinen and Kirsten Kaptein are the two highest seeds in the elite draw as the FIR World Tour rolls into the Netherlands for the IWT Dunlop Rotterdam Open.
Penttinen is joined in the Men’s A Singles by seeds Sylvain Ternon, Duncan Stahl and Cornelius Radermacher, with eight more players competing.
Fresh from the SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open, Myriam Enmer is back in action in Rotterdam. She is joined by Kaptein, Stine Jacobsen, Julia Schirutschke and Nienke Veldkamp in a five player box league.
This is the first time the FIR World Tour has held an event in the Netherlands since 2014. The tournament is taking place at Victoria Tennis, the site that was supposed to hold the 2020 Racketlon World Championships.
Men’s A Singles – Penttinen, Radermacher, Lindberg and More Begin Season in Rotterdam
With the SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open happening just last weekend, there is an almost completely new set of players ready to compete for a title. Duncan Stahl is the only player to be competing in both tournaments in the Men’s A elite draw. That means there is plenty of opportunity for all to get their hands on a title, especially the four seeds who all receive a first-round bye.
After recently being crowned Finland National Champion, Luka Penttinen is the top seed in the draw. In the final, Penttinen beat Joel Pennanen, and the draw means that he could face him again. Pennanen has been drawn to face Rene Lindberg in the opening round. Lindberg won his first elite singles title at the 2019 IWT Swedish Open and will sense he has a chance here for another. In order to do that though, he would have to come past two Finns early on.
The second quarter sees Duncan Stahl as the top seed. Battling to face him in the quarter-finals are Damien Andre and Simon Vaclahovsky. The two have shared a court this year already, although it was in a doubles match, rather than singles. Andre won that day, alongside Sylvain Ternon. Will he get the same result on the singles court or will Vaclahovsky advance to the quarter-finals?
Section three pits Paul Sach against Adarsh Vikram Narayanaswamy in the opening round. A quarter-final date with Cornelius Radermacher awaits the winner. This is Sach’s first tournament since the 2019 World Championships, while Narayanaswamy competes for the second time this year, after taking part in the IWT Swiss Open.
Sylvain Ternon is the remaining seed in the draw, sitting at the bottom of the bracket. His first opponent will be either Koen Hageraats or Anthony Duthuillé, with the pair facing off in the first round. The Dutchman won the only previous meeting between these two back at the 2019 IWT French Open. Can he triumph again at his home tournament?
The full Men’s A Singles draw is available here.
Women’s A Singles – Kaptein and Jacobsen Headline Five-Player Box League
After the drama of last weekend in Graz, the Women’s A Singles category returns with five players in action in Rotterdam. Kirsten Kaptein is the top seed as she looks to rebound from a difficult season opener in Switzerland.
Joining Kaptein is Stine Jacobsen, Myriam Enmer, Nienke Veldkamp and Julia Schirutschke. Jacobsen is looking to become the first woman this year two win two elite singles titles after her triumph at the IWT Swiss Open. This tournament also acts as the final warm-up event for the World Singles Championship, where Jacobsen is one of the favourites to challenge for the title.
Enmer travels to Rotterdam fresh from an impressive weekend at the SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open. The French rising star was involved in the historic Gummiarm Playoff after a career-best win over Zuzana Severinova. Enmer is getting closer and closer to a first career singles title – could this be her time?
Veldkamp and Schirutschke make up the draw having originally entered the Women’s B Doubles. For both players, this is a season debut, with Veldkamp looking to use this tournament to prepare for the World Singles Championship. The two young talents actually met at the last World Championship in the Girls U21 event, with Schirutschke winning thanks to a solid 21-10 tennis result.
Based on form, Jacobsen remains the favourite, despite Kaptein being the higher-ranked player. As last weekend proved to us though, anything can happen in racketlon.
The full Women’s A Singles Draw is available here.
Men’s A Doubles – Radermacher and Stahl No.1 in Eclectic Draw
Last weekend Duncan Stahl was top seed alongside Dan Busby. A week later, he’s teaming up with Cornelius Radermacher for a crack at the title. The pair have played together once before, winning the IWT Berlin Open two years ago. Could they continue their unbeaten start to life as a doubles pairing?
Their opening match will be against either Joel Pennanen and Luka Penttinen or Gregor David and Adrash Vikram Narayanaswamy. The Finnish duo will team up for the first time on the FIR World Tour, as they look to put together a run. Their opponents are also playing together for the first time, while for David it’s the first-ever venture into the elite category.
In the bottom half, Patrick Oettl and Simon Vaclahovsky are the No.2 seeds. The two were supposed to play together one week ago but were forced to withdraw due to Vaclahovsky suffering an illness. In their second attempt to play together, they will face either René Lindberg and Guus Van De Burgt or Srikanth Birdula and Berthold Van Veen.
Lindberg and Van De Burgt are the experienced duo. They were due to take on Taavi Suorsa and Juho Vuorinen. However, the two are now playing in the Men’s B Doubles draw, leaving Birdula and Van Veen with a tough challenge on their debut.
The full Men’s A Doubles Draw is available here.
Women’s A Doubles – Two Pair Shoot-Out for Title
With just two pairs in the Women’s A Doubles draw, we’re set for a straight shoot-out for glory. Myriam Enmer is partnered with Kirsten Kaptein and they’re taking on Stine Jacobsen and Nienke Veldkamp.
Veldkamp is the only player in the draw without a doubles title to her name yet. Jacobsen and Enmer’s first titles have only come this year, with both partnering Anna-Klara Ahlmer to success in Switzerland and Romanian respectively.
With the two facing off, will it be Enmer or Jacobsen that picks up their second title of the year?
The full Women’s A Doubles draw is available here.
Mixed A Doubles – Jacobsen and Radermacher Team Up Once Again
As well as squaring off in the Women’s A Doubles final, Jacobsen, Enmer and Kaptein are also in action in the Mixed A Doubles. Jacobsen is partnering with Cornelius Radermacher once again, after playing at the 2019 World Doubles Championship and Luxembourg Open Challenger in 2020.
Enmer is playing with Rene Lindberg while Kaptein is partnering with Adarsh Vikram Narayanaswamy. The three pairs will all face each other in a box league format with a title up for grabs. Of the six players in the draw, only two have got elite mixed doubles trophies in their collection.
Jacobsen and Kaptein are the pair who have previously triumphed. Both have two titles to their name, with Jacobsen’s most recent coming this year with Morten Jaksland at the IWT Swiss Open. Could that experience help one of those two pairs grab the crown in Rotterdam, or will Enmer and Lindberg be the pair to triumph?
The full Mixed A Doubles draw is available here.
A full preview for the amateur, junior and senior categories will be published on Thursday.
The full 2021 FIR World Tour is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / rubinfoto.com