Andre & Lindberg Win Dramatic Gummiarms as Jacobsen Beats Ahlmer | World Singles Championship

The first round of the elite categories at the World Singles Championships saw a whole host of drama, with France’s Damien Andre shocking No.2 seed Dan Busby on a gummiarm.

There was more gummiarm drama late into the evening with René Lindberg producing an unforgettable tennis comeback and gummiarm win against Max Plettenberg. That match drew the biggest and best crowd of the day.

Lindberg and Andre, the two gummiarm winners, will now go toe-to-toe on Saturday for a spot in the semi-finals.

Stine Jacobsen, who was crowned Women’s +40 World Champion on Thursday, also took out top seed Anna-Klara Ahlmer in the Women’s Singles.

Men’s Singles: Seeds Tumble on Day of Drama

From the moment Arturs Zaicevs edged Simon Vaclahovsky by one point in the very first match of the elite tournament, we knew it was going to be a dramatic day.

The day’s two most memorable matches came at the very bottom of the draw, as Dan Busby took on Damien Andre and René Lindberg faced Max Plettenberg. Both matches were almost carbon copies of each other, with Busby and Plettenberg winning the table tennis and squash and Andre and Lindberg winning the badminton.

In the end, both Andre and Lindberg were chasing big tennis wins. Busby needed 11 to win and Plettenberg needed six. Both matches went to a gummiarm. In the first gummiarm, Andre won and made Busby serve. After a let on the first serve, Busby landed the next attempt in but his third shot clattered into the net, leaving Andre delighted with his impressive tennis and the biggest result of his career so far.

The second one was somehow more dramatic. That’s because Lindberg had saved multiple match points and because the largest crowd of the tournament was fully invested in the match, clapping along and gasping with every shot. In the end, Lindberg asked Plettenberg to serve in the gummiarm after winning the toss and the German unfortunately put his serve into the net. A genuinely heroic tennis performance from Lindberg.

The crowd showed huge appreciation for all four players afterwards, demonstrating both delight and commiserations in equal measure.

The match between Arturs Zaicevs and Simon Vachlahovky also had some late tennis drama with the German shanking a forehand into the roof rather than the open court as Zaicevs lay on the floor leaving the watching fans with their head in their hands. As mentioned earlier, Zaicevs then went on to win the match by a single point.

One of the matches of the day was between Kresten Hougaard and returning Danish star Kasper Jønsson. After a brutal 25-23 squash set it was Jønsson who stood victorious at the end of the match, winning the tennis set 21-13 to knock out the No.4 seed. Jønsson will go on to face Britain’s Leon Griffiths. The young talent ultimately made light work of wildcard Magnus Eliasson, winning by 35 points before tennis. 

Men’s Singles: Jaksland Moves into Quarter-Finals to Face Zeoli

It was a tough opening match for both No.1 seed Morten Jaksland and No.8 seed Nicolas Lenggenhageer. Jaksland played Christian Wiessner once again and beat him once again but not without some trouble. Ultimately, it was a 21-2 squash set that saved Jaksland, as he eventually won by nine points overall. Lenggenhager was also involved in a battle against Loïc Cencig. The No.8 seed needed 14 in the tennis but was nearly upset by the 2019 Men’s B champion. In the end, Lenggenhager battled to a 14-18 tennis score to win by just four points.

Lenggenhager will face Florian Harca on Saturday after the Austrian flew past Anthony Duthuillé, despite having played multiple matches earlier in the day. No.3 seed Emanuel Schöpf had little trouble in brushing past Michel Kurek. He’ll next face Adarsh Vikram Narayanswamy who eliminated Ray Jordan in impressive fashion. Also in quarter three, Luke Griffiths made a comfortable start to his maiden elite world championship campaign, beating Oliver Bühler by 17 points after winning the first three sports.

While the two gummiarms brought plenty of excitement in quarter four, there was a little disappointment as Koen Hageraats was forced to pull out of his much-anticipated match against Jesper Ratzer. That means the defending champion will open in round two against Sylvain Ternon after the Frenchman beat Michal Horácek in the opening round.

On his first return to international racketlon in four years, Joshua Zeoli was performing superbly. He first took out Mandrin Mouchet, with an eye-catching 21-8 badminton victory. Then, in the final match of the night, he played No.5 seed Luka Penttinen. The Finn had earlier battled past Yannic Andrey with an 11 point victory but came unstuck against Zeoli. It was almost a full set of tennis with Penttinen leading by three.

At 9-3 it looked like Penttinen was going to progress to the quarter-final. However, Zeoli won an incredible 15 points in a row to set up a quarter-final with Morten Jaksland. Jaksland beat Zaicevs late on Friday evening in his second-round match to return to the quarter-finals once again.

The full results from the Men’s Elite Singles are available here.

You can rewatch all the action from the day on

Women’s Singles: Ahlmer and Kaptein Eliminated in First Round

No seeds remain in the top half of the Women’s Singles after both Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Kirsten Kaptein were eliminated in the first round. Ahlmer faced Stine Jacobsen in a horror draw for the No.1 seed. Jacobsen controlled the match from badminton onwards, winning 21-9, 21-15 and 6-2 to eliminate a disappointed Ahlmer from the competition.

Jacobsen will now face Switzerland’s Michelle Fux in the quarter-finals. The tennis phenom produced one of the moments of the day to win 21-3 against Flore Allègre, beating her by one point overall in an exhilarating tennis set.

No.4 seed Kirsten Kaptein was ruthlessly dumped out by improving talent Irina Olsacher. The Austrian did her real damage in the badminton set as she won 21-3. In the quarter-finals, Olsacher will take on France’s Myriam Enmer, who recovered from a slow start to ruthlessly beat Adeline Kilchenmann 18-1 at tennis. This is a huge opportunity for both players to reach the first World Championship semi-final of their careers.

In the bottom half of the draw, both seeds survived their openers. No.2 seed Zuzana Severinová had a few moments of worry in her opener against Barbara Maciocha. She was down for some parts of the squash before pulling ahead in the second half and also fell to an 8-2 deficit in the tennis. However, the Czech star characteristically fought back and progressed to the quarters by 14 points.

Astrid Reimer-Kern is her opponent in that round. The German former finalist ruthlessly beat British newcomer Alice Flatman with clinical 21-0 and 21-2 scorelines in badminton and squash.

Another German comfortably rolled into the quarters as Nathalie Vogel defeated Dara Ladner handily before tennis. The former two-time world champion impressed on her return. Next, she will face home favourite Nicole Eisler for a spot in the semi-finals. Eisler had another encounter with familiar opponent Margaux Randjbar, winning by 14 points following a crucial 21-9 squash victory.

The full Women’s Singles results are available here.

You can rewatch every match here on

Watch every second of Saturday’s action from the World Singles Championship live here on

Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer

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