There were doubles titles for Stine Jacobsen, Zuzana Severinová, Frank Kleiber and Volker Sach on the opening day of the SWT Dubai Racketlon Classic.
Jacobsen and Severinová defeated Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Christine Seehofer with a game of sensational tennis to win the Women’s Doubles crown. Meanwhile, German duo Frank Kleiber and Volker Sach defeated Ersoy Korer and Kedar Nadgonde to win the Men’s B Doubles.
Both Seehofer and Ahlmer will get a second shot at doubles silverware this weekend. They both advanced to the Mixed Doubles final alongside respective partners Christine Seehofer and Anna-Klara Ahlmer.
There will also be a Men’s Doubles showdown as Morten Jaksland and Kresten Hougaard face off against Koen Hageraats and Nicolas Lenggenhager for the title.
Women’s Doubles – Jacobsen and Severinová Shock Win A High-Quality Contest
When we saw we were getting a match featuring Anna-Klara Ahlmer, Christine Seehofer, Stine Jacobsen and Zuzana Severinová, we knew it would be high-quality.
The match did not disappoint, with the two pairs neck-and-neck throughout. Ahlmer and Seehofer took table tennis 21-14 before losing badminton by the same scoreline. The squash did little to separate the two pairs. Ahlmer and Seehofer returned to winning ways, but only won 21-19, leaving us with a set of tennis.
This is where the match was won and lost. Jacobsen and Severinová produced a blistering 21-9 win to seal the first title together and the first title of the week at the SWT Dubai Racketlon Classic.
Their brilliant win also ended Ahlmer’s run of 12 straight Women’s Doubles victories and moves Severinová closer to the World No.1 spot.
The Women’s Doubles draw is available here.
Men’s B Doubles – Kleiber and Sach Triumph in Dubai
There was a victory for another set of familiar faces as Frank Kleiber and Volker Sach triumphed in the Men’s B Doubles. This category was a three pair box league.
Kleiber and Sach actually sat out the first match. Instead, Ersoy Korer and Kedar Nadgonde took on Graham King and Michel Mont Rabet. It was a clinical performance from the Turkish-Indian pair, who routed their opponents to win by 44 points.
However, their quest for gold came unstuck in their match against Kleiber and Sach. The Germans actually trailed by one point after the badminton but burst into life in the second half. A 21-11 squash victory left them needing 13 on the tennis court, something they easily managed. A wonderful title for the German pair who made the long trip to Dubai.
The title was confirmed as King and Rabet were forced to withdraw from their match against Kleiber and Sach, leaving them third in the group after their earlier loss.
The full Men’s B Doubles draw is available here.
Mixed Doubles – Dramatic Day Sees a Number of Close Matches
The Mixed Doubles category lived up to its pre-tournament billing as an exciting draw with some captivating matches on Thursday.
The best match of the day came as Stine Jacobsen and Koen Hageraats produced an unbelievable performance to beat Amke Fischer and Leon Griffiths. The Dane and the Dutchman were three points down heading into the tennis. But they held their nerve with some sensational shots to win 21-17 – snatching a +1 victory against the powerhouse pairing.
The other first-round match saw regular partners Irina Olsacher and Emanuel Schöpf stroll to the easiest victory of the day. The pair produced a brilliant display to beat Zuzana Severinová and Mohammed Tarik Koubaa by 17 points, thanks largely to a 21-8 badminton result.
Neither of the winning pairs from round one would get a second win on the day, but both pushed the seeded pairs close.
Christine Seehofer and Morten Jaksland proved why they are both World No.1 in singles. They overturned a 21-14 table tennis loss to beat Jacobsen and Hageraats by 10 points to reach the final of the Mixed Doubles. Jacobsen and Hageraats couldn’t carry their dream run into the final.
The second semi-final was an even closer affair. Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Nicolas Lenggenhager won the table tennis 21-17 and squash 21-15 against Olsacher and Schöpf to lead by five points before tennis after the Austrians’ 21-16 badminton win. In the Dubai sunshine, Ahlmer and Lenggenhager booked their spot in the final thanks to a +8 victory.
There, they will face Seehofer and Jaksland. While Ahlmer, Seehofer and Jaksland have all won at least six elite mixed doubles titles before, this is a huge opportunity for Lenggenhager to get this hands-on a first trophy at the highest level.
The final will take place on Saturday and the full Mixed Doubles results are available here.
Men’s Doubles – Blockbuster Friday Final
Jaksland, Hageraats and Lenggenhager had a busy Thursday as they also competed in the Men’s Doubles. In our preview, we talked about how it was experienced versus the unknown. As is common in racketlon, it was experience that shone through.
Hageraats and Lenggenhager had an impressive morning. They beat Sujit Kumar and Vishal Narayanan as well as Jonathan Anderson and Peter Sykes before tennis.
Jaksland and partner Kresten Hougaard also beat Anderson and Sykes before tennis but did not have to play Kumar and Narayanan. The Indians had to retire before their match began.
That leaves Jaksland and Hougaard taking on Hageraats and Lenggenhager for the title on Friday. Interestingly, when they both faced Anderson and Sykes, the overall score was very similar. Hougaard and Jaksland won by +39 while Hageraats and Lenggenhager won by +40. That tells us that we’re expecting a close final on Saturday.
The Men’s Doubles results are available here.
The Singles action gets underway on Friday, while the Men’s Doubles final will also take place.
More information about the Dubai Fitness Challenge is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Rene Zwald & Jonas Von Sachs