Ahlmer Top Seed as Vogel Returns | World Singles Championship

Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Zuzana Severinová are the top two seeds in the Women’s Singles draw at the World Singles Championship as former winner Nathalie Vogel makes her return.

With defending champion Christine Seehofer forced to withdraw due to a shoulder injury, world No.2 Ahlmer has been elevated to No.1 seed in the tournament for the first time in her career. Severinová is the No. 2 seed and sits in the same half of the draw as Nathalie Vogel.

Vogel was crowned world champion in both 2012 and 2013. Returning to play in a World Singles Championship for the first time since 2016, the German is looking to become just the fourth woman, alongside Seehofer, Lilian Druve and Michaela Bjornstrom, to win three world singles titles.

Top Half Preview: Ahlmer Meets Jacobsen in Eye-Catching Opener

Being ranked as the top seed in the World Singles Championship should give you a cause for celebration. That may not be the case for Anna-Klara Ahlmer who was dealt an incredibly tough opening match against Stine Jacobsen.

While Ahlmer won the Romanian Open Challenger, Jacobsen triumphed at the IWT Swiss Open and IWT Dunlop Rotterdam Open. Jacobsen’s double success makes her the only elite player, male or female, to have won two titles on the FIR World Tour in 2021.

The two actually played at the IWT Swiss Open, with Jacobsen battling to a narrow +7 victory in the semi-finals. That win took Jacobsen to an impressive 4-1 head-to-head lead, something she hopes she can continue to improve in Switzerland.

Stine Jacobsen faces Anna-Klara Ahlmer in the opening round (Image: Rene Zwald)

Whoever emerges victorious from that match will move into the quarter-finals to face either Michelle Fux or Flore Allègre. Switzerland’s Fux is making her international debut, while Allègre is competing for just the second time after making her debut at the last World Championship. Allègre finished third in the Girls U21 title two years ago, beating Dara Ladner for the bronze. Could she have another deep run here?

There’s another debutant sitting in quarter two. Adeline Kilchenmann, like Fux, is a Swiss player competing on the FIR World Tour for the first time. Kilchenmann begins his career against this season’s breakout star, Myriam Enmer. The French talent, who has already flown up to No.18 in the world rankings, has a number of elite podiums to her name, and now looks to impress on his World Championship debut.

The final match in the top half pitches No.4 seed Kirsten Kaptein against Austria’s Irina Olsacher. This is the second time these two have met in 2021, with Olsacher toppling Kaptein before tennis at the IWT Swiss Open back in August. While Kaptein is an experienced player at the elite level, Olsacher is stepping up for the first time. Two years ago she finished fourth in the Women’s B after losing out to Anita Voelkel. After notable improvements over the last two years, could she eliminate a seeded player in the opening round of the World Championship?

Bottom Half Preview: Vogel Lands in Bottom Half Featuring Four Top 10 Players

The bottom half of the Women’s Singles draw is stacked full of talent. Most notable in the draw is the return of former two-time champion Nathalie Vogel. The German begins her quest for a third world title against Switzerland’s home favourite Dara Ladner. Similar to Olsacher, Ladner is competing in the elite draw for the first time at a world championship.

That match lands in quarter three. The other match in this section is a showdown between two top 10 players. No.3 seed Nicole Eisler faces a tough start to her tournament against France’s Margaux Randjbar. The two have a fascinating history, having met on three previous occasions. All three matches have been extremely close as well. Eisler grabbed the first two, winning in Sweden in 2017 and at Club La Santa two years later. However, Randjbar won for the first time at last year’s Luxembourg Open Challenger. With this in mind, it seems likely that this is going to be one of the best and tightest matches of the opening round.

The fourth and final quarter features a repeat of the 2019 World Championship bronze medal match and the return of a former runner-up. As the No.2 seed, Zuzana Severinová sits at the bottom of the bracket and has drawn Barbara Maciocha. The Pole made a huge impression on her international debut two years ago, beating both Anna Wall and Silke Altmann on her way to the World Championship semi-final. After losing to Christine Seehofer she then fell once again to Severinová, losing before tennis.

Zuzana Severinova is the No.2 seed in the tournament (Image: Rene Zwald)

The Czech star won an excellent Triple Crown at the SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open and looks in great form heading into the World Championship. After finishing third two years ago, can she go one better and make it all the way to the final?

If she’s to do that, then she’ll have to beat Maciocha and the winner of Astrid Reimer-Kern against Alice Flatman. The latter is making her international debut after a string of impressive performances on the UK Racketlon Tour. However, she faces a huge opening test against squash specialist and 2018 runner-up Astrid Reimer-Kern. The German reached the final in Switzerland three years ago, losing to Christine Seehofer. With the world No.1 not competing this year, can Reimer-Kern take full advantage?

The full Women’s Elite Singles draw is available here.

The Men’s Elite Singles preview will be coming soon.

Read the Juniors preview here, the Seniors Preview here, and the Amateurs preview here.

Watch every singles main draw Women’s Elite Singles World Championship match on steamster.tv across the weekend.

Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer

Image Credit / Rene Zwald

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