While the elite players will dominate the headlines in Dubai, let’s also take a moment to look at the non-elite players who have travelled to take part in the first SWT Dubai Racketlon Classic.
Alongside the five elite classes, we also have four non-elite classes; Men’s B Singles, Men’s B Doubles, Mixed B Doubles and Men’s +45 Singles. We’ll have a quick preview of the four draws before the tournament begins on Thursday.
Men’s B Singles – Indian Players Make Up 60% of Draw
We’ve spoken a lot about the rise of India on the international racketlon scene and that is obvious here in Dubai. Three of the five Men’s B Singles players are from India, with Kedar Nadgonde the one player who has competed before.
Joining Nadgonde in the United Arab Emirates is Sujit Kumar and Vishal Narayanan. Both Indian players are making their international racketlon debut and it’s hugely exciting to see them begin their racketlon journey in Dubai. Joining the three Indians in the five-player group is Germany’s Andreas Baumung and Dutchman Guidi Weijel. The latter was meant to begin his season at the World Singles Championship but was forced to withdraw.
The five players will all play each other on Friday and Saturday.
The full Men’s B Singles draw is available here.
Men’s B Doubles – Sach and Kleiber Lead Intriguing Three-Pair League
Kedar Nadgonde is the only player taking part in both the Men’s B Singles and the Men’s B Doubles. That is because the rest of the three pair box league is filled with Men’s +45 Singles players. Nadgonde is playing alongside Turkey’s Ersoy Korer.
Also in the draw is German stars Volker Sach and Frank Kleiber. The duo has played a number of times alongside each other in the past at tournaments in London, Germany and more. Now, they venture out to Dubai looking to win a title together.
The third and final pair in the draw is Graham King and Michel Mont Rabet. This is a fascinating combination as the most experienced player in racketlon, King, partners with a brand new player on the international scene, Rabet.
These three pairs will each face each other to determine who will win the Men’s B Doubles title.
The full Men’s B Doubles Draw is available here.
Seniors +45 Singles – Familiar Faces Battle for Dubai Crown
Five of the players in the Men’s B Doubles are also in singles action in the Seniors +45 Singles. With six players competing in the draw, we have two groups of three with the top two advancing to meet in the semi-finals.
Frank Kleiber is the top seed in Group A and is joined by Great Britain’s Steve Kneller and Finnish newcomer Michel Mont Rabet. Since 2014, Kneller and Kleiber have met on three separate occasions, with Kneller winning once and Kleiber winning twice. The two have actually collided on Asian soil before, with Kleiber beating Kneller at the 2017 Thailand Open.
Group B is a real mix between three racketlon regulars. Graham King is the No.2 seed and he’s joined in the group by Turkey’s Ersoy Korer and Germany’s Volker Sach. Despite being the top seed in the group, King’s head-to-head records are against him. He trails 2-0 against Korer and 6-0 against Sach. Korer and Sach have actually never faced before on the FIR World Tour. If head-to-head records are anything to go by then their meeting could be to decide who tops the group.
The full Seniors +45 Singles draw is available here.
Mixed B Doubles – Straight Shoot-Out for the Title
Similar to the Women’s Elite Doubles, there are just two pairs battling for the title. Julia Schirutschke and Andreas Baumung are combining to form an all-German pair.
Facing them on the other side of the net is Graham King and Mirianda Frick. The latter has not played a tournament since 2017 but is a former elite singles champion after winning in Estonia back in 2016.
The full Mixed B Doubles draw is available here.
The elite singles preview for the SWT Dubai Racketlon Classic is available here.
More information about the Dubai Fitness Challenge is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Rene Zwald & Jonas Von Sachs