Defending Champions Tumble on Day One | World Doubles Championship

Both the Women’s Doubles and Men’s Doubles defending champions were eliminated on the opening day of the World Doubles Championship.

The biggest shock of the day came as Christine Seehofer’s eight-year winning streak came to an end as she and Bettina Bugl were beaten by Amke Fischer and Natalie Paul.

Morten Jaksland and Kresten Hougaard were also unable to defend their title. They were beaten in a fantastic semi-final by Great Britain’s Leon Griffiths and Calum Reid.

Women’s A Doubles – Fischer and Paul Produce Epic Upset

While the majority of the Women’s A matches went exactly to script, there was one big shock in amongst the day’s actions. Amke Fischer and Natalie Paul defeated Bettina Bugl and Christine Seehofer to end Seehofer’s eight-year reign as World Champion.

The two pairs went into the tennis separated by one point. The Austrians won the table tennis, 21-17 and the squash 21-13. However, a dominant 21-10 badminton set kept the German pair in the match. They then played a spectacular tennis set. Both Paul and Fischer rushed the net whenever possible and were richly rewarded. A flurry of smash winners saw them run out victorious by five points.

That means Natalie Paul returns to the final chasing a third Women’s Doubles world title. For Fischer, this is the first final at a World Championship of her career.

Facing them in the final is No.2 seeds Stine Jacobsen and Zuzana Severinová. The pair won the Women’s Doubles in Dubai earlier this month and continued their ruthless form with two +28 victories before tennis. First, they defeated Myriam Enmer and Margaux Randjbar before later taking out Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Stephanie Chung.

Jacobsen is now looking to complete the double after winning the Women’s Singles title last month in Switzerland. For Severinová, this is an incredible opportunity to win her first elite world title.

Enmer and Randjbar will battle against Bugl and Seehofer for bronze after the French pair defeated Ahlmer and debutant Chung. They will take on Lucie Hlavacova and Hana Rábová, who stepped up to the Women’s A after Astrid Reimer-Kern was forced to withdraw on the eve of the tournament.

The full Women’s A Doubles results are available here.

Men’s A Singles – Griffiths and Reid Eliminate Defending Champions

After arriving just 10 minutes before their first match due to a delayed flight, it looked like it was going to be a chaotic day for Leon Griffiths and Calum Reid. In the end, it was magic.

Their tournament began against a pair of Finns and will end against a pair of Finns as they battled through three matches – including beating defending champions Kresten Hougaard and Morten Jaksland – on a busy Thursday evening.

Toni Kemppinen and Joel Pennanen were their first opponents. The British pair cruised through that match to set up a quarter-final showdown with Georg Stoisser and Lukas Windischberger. This was, as expected, a fierce affair from start to finish.

The Brits won the opening two sports 21-14 but were pegged back as Stoisser and Windischberger produced mesmerising squash to win 21-11. The first point in the second half between Reid and Windischberger took an eye-popping five minutes to finish. However, the Brits were ruthless on the tennis court all day, pulling ahead early to win 18-8 and set up a semi-final against Kresten Hougaard and Morten Jaksland.

Things started well for the defending champions. They produced some exceptional table tennis to take a 21-15 lead but were resoundingly beaten 21-11 on the badminton court. Both halves of the squash set were tight. Hougaard roared to an 11-10 victory over Griffiths before Jaksland did the same to Reid to leave it needing a full tennis set.

In the end, though, Griffiths and Reid were too good. As in their previous match, they powered their way through the points, dominating the net and marching into the final.

Reid already has a Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles world title to his name. Can he complete the collection with Men’s Doubles? For Griffiths, this is a second attempt at a world title this year, after losing out in the Men’s Singles final to Jesper Ratzer last month.

Men’s A Doubles – Fairytale for Finnish Debutants

While the top half of the draw was bossed by two of the greatest British racketlon players ever, the bottom half had a very different feel.

Pekka Kainulainen and Henrik Mustonen had never played an international racketlon tournament together before, with Kainulainen making his international return. What a debut the pair of them had.

Their first match against Max Plettenberg and Christian Wiessner was a match dominated by badminton and squash, with the Finns winning 21-5 and 21-10, with Mustonen not losing a point on the squad court.

Their second match was an all-Finnish affair and ferociously tight. After losing the table tennis, they won the badminton 23-21 and took the squash 21-12, with Mustonen dropping his first point of the day. A full tennis set ensued, with Kainulainen and Mustonen shocking the No.2 seed to advance to the semi-final.

Cornelius Radermacher and Duncan Stahl had come through their quarter-final against Nicolas Lenggenhager and Nihit Kumar Singh by dominating squash and tennis. In the semi-final, it was the other way round.

Radermacher and Stahl led by eight before squash. Mustonen carved out a 21-13 victory from 11-3 down to make it a full tennis set. At 20-13 to the Finns, it looked like they were cruising into the final. Radermacher and Stahl’s experience shone through though, as they remarkably saved six match points. In the end, a lob drifted long on the seventh attempt, and Kainulainen and Mustonen were in the final.

They are already the Finnish National Champions. Can they complete the fairytale and stun the Brits in Friday’s Men’s Doubles final?

The full Men’s A Doubles results are available here.

A full report on all the amateur, junior and senior categories will be coming next week.

Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer

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