Welcome to the round-robin Thunderdome. Of the nine Junior Boys & Girls singles categories at this year’s World Singles Championship, eight of them will be decided by box league action.
The Junior Boys U16 crown is the only one that will be settled by a monrad draw. What this means is that we’re blessed with some fiercely exciting matches, both in the groups and then in the finals.
Let’s dive in and see which of racketlon’s future stars are battling for glory in Switzerland.
Junior Boys U21 Singles – World No.1 Harca Avoids Fierce “Group of Death”
With defending champion Leon Griffiths now a junior circuit graduate, seven new players step up to get their hands on his crown. Leading the Juniors U21 division is World No.1 and recent men’s elite champion Florian Harca. The Austrian lands in Group A alongside Switzerland’s Léon Mamié and new Brit Anant Gupta.
None of these three players has faced each other before, especially given Gupta has only played one tournament on the FIR World Tour so far. Harca is the heavy favourite in the section, but surprises are common in regular, and Gupta and Mamié will both fancy their chances.
Harca has done well to avoid Group B. The high-quality four-player group is led by World No.3 Matthew Davidson. The young Brit is joined by Martin Abrami, Yannic Andrey, and the long-awaited return of Tinko Schnegg.
Davidson is the top seed after impressive performances in London and Austria already this year. However, he lost to Andrey two years ago in the final of the Junior Boys U18 Singles at the World Championship. He also narrowly lost to Harca by a gummiarm in the final of the Junior Boys U21 Singles category at this year’s SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open. Will Davidson overcome his demons in this tournament?
We already mentioned that Andrey is the reigning U18 World Champion. He also boasts a 2-0 head-to-head winning record over Martin Abrami, the young rising French star. Abrami reached the semi-finals in Austria last year and is continuing to build a solid racketlon career.
Now throw Tinko Schnegg’s return into the mix and you’ve got an explosive group. Schnegg is a former U13 World Champion who also holds a 3-1 winning record over Andrey from matches played seven years ago. However, we haven’t seen Schnegg compete since 2015. How has he developed? We’re about to find out. Which two group winners will collide in the final? It really could be anyone.
The full Junior Boys U21 Singles draw is available here.
Junior Girls U21 Singles – Brand New World Champion Guaranteed
With defending champion Zuzana Severinova no longer eligible and former champion Hannah Boden not taking part, the Junior Girls U21 Singles draw is wide open.
Four players are heading to Zurich with their eyes on the prize. World No.2 Anna Wall is the top seed while Austria’s Clarissa Steiner joins her as the second seed. These two top-five stars are joined by Great Britain’s Cherisse Lau and Swiss newcomer Linda Rohrer.
The world championship pedigree largely lies with Wall. The Finn has two Junior U21 Mixed Doubles trophies in her cabinet, after winning in 2018 and 2019 with Luka Penttinen. Now she has her sights set on taking home an individual title. Having not seen her compete since 2019, there is a certain mystery around how she will perform.
This is even starker when you compare her with Steiner. The Austrian has reached a World Championship final before, finishing as runner-up in the Junior Girls U16 category three years ago. We’ve also seen Steiner beat Zuzana
Another player with a World Championship singles medal is Cherisse Lau. Two years ago, on her international debut, Lau won a silver in the Women’s C Singles category. Now, she returns to the tour hoping to go one better. Finally, Linda Rohrer is a youngster making her international debut. Could the mysterious newcomer upset the three more established racketlon players on her home turf/
The full Junior Girls U21 draw is available here.
Junior Boys U18 Singles – Big Three Set for Potential Epic Showdown
Florian Harca, Luke Griffiths and Matthew Davidson are currently the three highest-ranked players in the Boys Singles. So it would be great if the three of them could meet in an epic three-player shoot-out? Well, that is a real possibility – if they can come through their groups.
Once again, Harca finds himself in Group A. The Austrian is joined by Germany’s Cornelius Ried and Great Britain’s Oliver Barton. While Barton is a relative newcomer, Ried and Harca have met twice before. While Harca has won both contests, it’s been close, with the Austrian winning the first on a gummiarm back in 2018. Could Ried produce a huge shock in the groups?
Junior legend and reigning U16 World Champion Luke Griffiths headlines Group B. The younger Griffiths brother is joined by Anant Gupta and Finnish newcomer Jesse Kiljunen. Despite having never met before, Griffiths’ track record sees him land as the heavy favourite.
Group C contains Matthew Davidson, Germany’s Bastian Böhm and France’s Mathis Cenne. Davidson comfortably beat Böhm in Austria last month and will be the favourite to do so again. Cenne is chasing upsets as the French youngster takes part in his first international world tour event.
The three group winners will all advance to a three-player box league where they will each play each other for the title. Harca vs. Griffiths vs. Davidson is a mouthwatering prospect if the three players live up to their seeding.
The full Boys Junior U18 Singles draw is available here.
Junior Girls U18 Singles Draw – First-Time Champion Will be Crowned
After the introduction of the U18 age group for boys in 2019, we’re delighted that it’s now making its debut for girls! Three young women have signed up with one of them destined to be crowned the first-ever Junior Girls U18 Singles World Champion.
Looking to do a double, Clarissa Steiner is back and headlines the draw. Joining her is fellow Austria Paulina Steiner. Despite their shared surname, the two are not actually related apart from their love of racketlon. The two managed to avoid each other on the singles court in Austria this year so we’re yet to see how they will fare when they collide in court in Switzerland.
Joining the two Steiners in the three-player box league is Kimi Schnegg. Much like her brother, this is Schnegg’s first time back on the FIR World Tour since 2015. There is plenty of intrigue around her return and we wish her and her brother all the best as they compete once again.
The full Junior Girls U18 Singles draw is available here.
Junior Boys U16 Singles – Magic Monrad Breaks Up Box-League Bonanza
The Junior Boys U16 Singles draw is the monrad filling in a box league sandwich. The 14 players are dominated by a strong Austrian contingent, with seven making the trip across to Switzerland. Despite the Austrian dominance, it’s Czech player Lukáš Dvořák who sits as the No.1 seed, enjoying a bye through to the quarter-finals. Dvořák will take on either Poland’s Daniel Ladny or Christoph Steiner in the opening round.
France’s Lucas Steyer is the seed in the second quarter of the draw. With a Junior Boys U21 Singles crown already to his name in Luxembourg, Steyer is a force ready to disrupt this draw. First up for Steyer is Leo Hörtinger, one of Austria’s group of players. The winner of that match will take on either Leon Steiner or Jesse Kiljunen.
Doubles partners at the SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open, Sebastian Janser and Jakob Rosenberger both land in quarter three. Rosenberger opens against Great Britain’s Oliver Barton, while Janser’s campaign starts against No.3 seed Nils Morgenthaler. The latter is a battle between two success stories in 2021. Morgenthaler won a silver in the Junior Boys U16 at the IWT Swiss Open while Janser won the U13 title in Graz.
The full Junior Boys U16 Singles draw is available here.
Junior Girls U16 Singles – Three Youngsters Chasing the Title
Much like the Girls U18 Singles, it’s a three-player shoot-out for the world title. Featured in this group is the returning Kimi Schnegg, who is chasing double glory in the U16 and U18 draws. Joining Schnegg is Lena Schaedler and Ewa Kozlowska.
Schaedler made her international debut earlier this year. The young German took part in the U13 singles at the IWT Swiss Open, finishing third after two wins and two losses. Kozlowska, unlike the other two, is taking part in her first international racketlon tournament. Good luck to all three as they look to follow in the footsteps of 2019 champion Alexandra Ogram.
The full Girls U16 Singles Draw is available here.
Junior Boys U13 Singles – 10 Players from 6 Countries Chasing the Title
We love it when a draw is packed full of youngsters. It’s even better when those youngsters are spread out across a number of nations because it proves that racketlon is constantly growing. That is exactly the situation in this draw as we have 10 players from six different countries.
Sitting in Group A is Mathias Schilling, Henri Zahn and Nico Jaussi. While Schilling is the top seed and most experienced, Zahn is a name to keep an eye on. The young German produced a thrilling display at the IWT Swiss Open earlier this year to win the U13 Singles title there, losing just one set in four matches. Jaussi is also a dark horse as he joins as a rookie.
The player who lost to Zahn in the final earlier this season was Toni Böhm. The German is the No.2 seed and the top-ranked player in Group B. U13 champion from Austria, Sebastian Janser, joins Böhm in this group with Finnish newcomer Leo Karppanen completing this intriguing group.
With 10 players in the draw, four players will meet in the third and final group. Jakob Rosenberger is the top-ranked of the four, with the Austrian leading the group. In an exciting twist, his supporting cast is all making their international debuts! Switzerland’s Andreas Kotala, France’s Arthur Batiot and Poland’s Daniel Ladny all begin their racketlon journey at these championships.
As with the U18 Singles draw, the top three players from each group will move into a podium group, with the players facing each other for the world title.
The full Junior Boys U13 Singles draw is available here.
Junior Girls U13 Singles – Two Dübendorfer’s and a Ratzer Light Up the Draw
Yes, you read that right. We have two Dübendorfer’s and a Ratzer competing in this category. Victoria and Julietta Dübendorfer and Scarlett Ratzer to be precise. Victoria and Scarlett are both in Group A, alongside Lena Schaedler, who is also competing in the Girls U16.
While this is Ratzer’s first tournament, Victoria Dübendorfer is returning to play for the third time. Three years ago she came second in the World Championships in this draw and one year later she won the Swiss Open. Will it be a third medal for Victoria?
Juliette Dübendorfer lands in a different group, alongside Ewa Kozlowska and Ylvie Zahn. We’ve already mentioned that this is Kozlowska’s first tournament but the same can’t be said for Zahn. She finished third at the IWT Swiss Open earlier this year in this age group after winning two of her three matches.
The Junior Girls U13 Singles draw is available here.
Junior Girls U11 Singles – History Made as Youngster Ever World Championship Up for Grabs
We pride ourselves in racketlon at our range of categories for players of all ages and abilities. Never has this been more obvious than right here as we introduce the Girls U13 Singles draw for the first time in history.
Three of the four players are also taking part in the U13 draw. Julietta Dübendorfer, Scarlett Ratzer and Ylvie Zahn all go in search of multiple silverware as they compete in two draws. Completing the historic four-player line-up is a second Swiss player, Elin Bandi. Good luck to all four girls as they chase a place in racketlon’s history books.
The full Junior Girls U11 Singles draw is available here.
The report for the seven amateur categories can be read here.
The report for the senior and elite categories will be coming soon.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / rubinfoto.com