The 2021 FIR World Tour reaches its finale this week with World No.1 Morten Jaksland and World No.2 Anna-Klara Ahlmer headlining the singles draws.
Jaksland is joined in the Men’s A Singles by fellow top 10 stars Dan Busby and Kresten Hougaard, with five other British players completing the draw.
It’s a high-quality four player box league in the Women’s Singles, with No.6 Kirsten Kaptein, No.8 Margaux Randjbar and No.11 Myriam Enmer joining Ahlmer.
Men’s Singles – Defending Champion Jaksland back at Club La Santa
The IWT Club La Santa Open has taken place three times before; in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Morten Jaksland has won the Men’s Singles twice – in 2017 and 2019 – while Kresten Hougaard triumphed in 2018. Both Danes are back at Club La Santa in 2021 but face a barrage of Brits if they’re to win once again.
The one thing that can’t happen is that they cannot meet in the final again. Jaksland and Hougaard have both landed in the top half of the eight-player draw. Jaksland begins his campaign against British teenager Matthew Davidson. The youngster is a rising talent in the racketlon world but has been dealt a tough draw here against the World No.1.
Hougaard’s campaign begins against Alex Du Noyer. Returning to the FIR World Tour for the first time since 2019, Du Noyer does have a victory against the Dane. The duo faced off twice back in 2017, with Hougaard winning the first in Germany before Du Noyer won an incredible match by a single point at the European Championships. Could he cause another upset on his racketlon return?
The bottom half is headlined by World No.3 Dan Busby. The Brit begins his campaign against another returning player in Luke Barnes. The former top-20 player makes his long-awaited return to the sport but faces a tough opener against Busby. The two have met twice before on the international circuit, back in 2016 and 2017. Busby won both matches but was forced to battle, especially in Antwerp.
The winner will face either James Langworthy or Matthew Haynes. This is a first career meeting between the two Brits, with one guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals. Haynes is a former elite champion after triumphing in Ireland previously, while Langworthy won a Men’s A singles title on the UK Tour this year, beating Ray Jordan in the final.
The full Men’s A Singles draw is available here.
Women’s A Singles – Ahlmer Joined by Enmer, Randjbar and Kaptein
Anna-Klara Ahlmer has been the most active player on the FIR World Tour in 2021 so it seems fitting to see her competing at the year’s final tournament. She is joined in a four-player box league by Kirsten Kaptein, Margaux Randjbar and Myriam Enmer.
Head-to-head records would have Ahlmer as the dominant favourite. She has not lost a match against any of these three women, leading Kaptein 9-0, Enmer 2-0 and Randjbar 3-0. The quality of tennis will be extremely high with Ahlmer, Enmer and Randjbar all excellent tennis players.
Something that plays into Randjbar’s hands is that she’s playing on home soil. The French star is based at Club La Santa and will be looking to make that home advantage count. Randjbar holds a 3-0 head-to-head lead over Kaptein but has never faced Enmer.
That is arguably the most fascinating of the box league matches. The two will be battling to be crowned the top woman in France and French selectors will have one eye firmly on this match ahead of the return of the World Team Championships in 2021.
The full Women’s Singles draw is available here.
Men’s Doubles – Former World Champions Jaksland and Hougaard Top Seeds
Morten Jaksland and Kresten Hougaard team up once again in Lanzarote, looking to make it a hat-trick of titles. The duo won in both 2018 and 2019 and, as former World Champions, are the favourites to repeat the feat.
They are the top seeds in a six pair draw which means they automatically have a bye through to the semi-finals. They will face the winners of a French-British showdown.
Alex Du Noyer and Luke Barnes are teaming up on their racketlon return and they’ll take on French regulars Bertrand Carlier and Anthony Duthuillé. The latter returns from last month’s World Doubles Championship, where he won the Men’s B title alongside Laurent Cocriamont.
The bottom half of the draw sees Dan Busby as the No.2 seed once again. His partner for the tournament is youngster Matthew Davidson. Similarly to Jaksland and Hougaard, their seeding gifts them a bye through to the semi-finals.
They will face the winner of James Langworthy and Matthew Haynes against Juho Vuorinen and Taavi Suorsa. The British pair, who collide in the first round of the singles, will team up for the first time against the recently crowned Men’s +45 Doubles World Champions. Will the experienced Finns topple the Brits or can they set up an all-British semi-final?
The full Men’s Doubles draw is available here.
Women’s Doubles – Three-Pair Shoot-Out Headlined by World No.1 Ahlmer
Anna-Klara Ahlmer’s long unbeaten women’s doubles run ended at last month’s World Doubles Championship but she’s determined to return to winning ways. The Swede is teaming up with returning German Jennifer Schmitz in an intriguing three-pair Women’s Doubles draw.
After teaming up at the World Doubles Championship last month, Margaux Randjbar and Myriam Enmer are back. They finished fourth in Prague last month and are looking to take gold at Club La Santa. To do that, they’ll have to topple Ahlmer and Schmitz.
They will also have to take out the third pair in the draw, Jo Shelley and Kirsten Kaptein. Between them, the pair are currently World Champions in five different Seniors categories so come with a wealth of experience and success on court. How will they fare in this high-quality elite field of players?
The full Women’s Doubles draw is available here.
Mixed Doubles – Three of World’s Top Four in Action in Lanzarote
After being crowned the new Mixed Doubles World Champion last month and becoming the new World No.1, Morten Jaksland returns to action. However, the Dane is not the top seed in the draw as he partners Margaux Randjbar for the first time.
Instead, the top seeds are Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Dan Busby, who are teaming up once again. They’ve played together a few times before, winning four of their five matches as a pair and their only loss coming by gummiarm earlier this year.
Ahlmer and Busby launch their title challenge against Myriam Enmer and Anthony Duthuillé. The French pair are looking to take out the top seeds and reach their first elite mixed doubles final.
In the bottom half, Randjbar and Jaksland face a Dutch pair in Kirsten Kaptein and Guus Van De Burgt. Van De Burgt found himself on four podiums at this year’s IWT Dunlop Rotterdam Classic. Can he bag himself another medal this year at the IWT Club La Santa Open?
The full Mixed Doubles draw is available here.
The full Juniors, Seniors and Amateurs preview will be available later today.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer