Well over 100 members of the racketlon community voted in the Racketlon End-of-Year Awards. Now, we can officially reveal who the winners are!
Elite Women’s Player of the Year – Stine Jacobsen
You voted for Stine Jacobsen as your Elite Women’s Player of the Year.
Denmark’s superstar had an outstanding year, being crowned the Women’s Singles, Women’s +40 Singles and Women’s Doubles World Champion. She also won three other singles titles and flew up the racketlon rankings.
Jacobsen had won her first career title at the 2020 Luxembourg Open Challenger and that victory opened the floodgates. The Dane won her first four tournaments of the season; the IWT Swiss Open, the IWT Dunlop Rotterdam Open, the World Singles Championship and the SWT Dubai Racketlon Classic.
Her only loss of the season came against Anna-Klara Ahlmer at the IWT Czech Open. That ended a streak of 19 consecutive victories dating back to late 2019.
Those four tournaments wins were more than any other player on the circuit and catapulted Jacobsen up to No.4 in the Women’s Singles Rankings. Despite that loss in November, Jacobsen enters 2022 as the form player and World Champion.
She has also formed a seemingly imperious partnership with Zuzana Severinová. The two looked spectacular on their way to the World Doubles Championship, winning the tournament without lifting a tennis racket.
Anna-Klara Ahlmer finished second in the vote, with Zuzana Severinová in third and Myriam Enmer fourth after receiving several votes.
Elite Men’s Player of the Year – Leon Griffiths
You voted for Leon Griffiths as your Elite Men’s Player of the Year.
Similar to Stine Jacobsen, Leon Griffiths roars to the Elite Men’s Player of the Year award after losing just one singles match throughout the season. The British star has been threatening to unleash his talent on the FIR World Tour for several years and finally arrived in full.
In 2021, Griffiths entered four tournaments, winning three and losing the last in the final. Griffiths won the IWT London Open, SWT Dubai Racketlon Classic and IWT Czech Open titles, adding to his growing trophy cabinet. His only loss of the year came in the World Singles Championship final where he lost to six-time champion Jesper Ratzer.
Griffiths did get his hands on a second elite World Championship medal this year though. After winning the World Team Championship in 2019 with Great Britain, Griffiths teamed up with Calum Reid to roll to the Men’s Doubles world title.
His success on the Tour rightly catapulted him back into the top-10 of the Men’s Singles Rankings. The Brit now sits at No.6 but is probably only one or two tournament victories away from landing in the top three of the rankings.
Morten Jaksland finished second in the vote, with Jesper Ratzer finishing third and Adarsh Vikram Narayanaswamy and Koen Hageraats finishing joint-fourth.
Seniors Player of the Year – Jo Shelley
You voted Jo Shelley as your Seniors Player of the Year.
Jo Shelley wins the Seniors Player of the Year award after a remarkable season that almost didn’t happen. Shelley had been struggling with a back injury and was planning on skipping the World Singles Championship.
However, with less than a week to go she filled in as a late alternate after her back improved. What followed was an incredible week. She beat both Esther Dübendorfer and Heike Voigt on her way to defending her Women’s +50 Singles title once again. That was the third time she had won that prestigious title.
That wasn’t enough for the Brit though. She then went on to win the Women’s +50 Doubles with Katrin Maldre and Mixed +50 Doubles with Jacob Steinmetz to complete a historic World Championship Triple Crown. The win with Steinmetz was particularly poignant as it meant he also won a +50 Triple Crown.
In total, Shelley played nine categories in 2021, finishing on the podium in eight of them. She’ll head to Austria next year looking to defend an unprecedented FOUR World Championship titles.
Jacob Steinmetz and Peter Sákovics finished joint-second in the vote, with Kirsten Kaptein in fourth.
Juniors Player of the Year – Luke Griffiths
You voted Luke Griffiths as your Junior Player of the Year.
No player in racketlon history has a more glistening Juniors career than Luke Griffiths. In 2021, he only strengthened his incredible legacy. The young Brit only played two tournaments; the IWT London Open and World Singles Championship. He made a huge impact at both though.
In London, he won the Men’s Doubles with his brother and finished third in the Men’s Singles with wins over Duncan Stahl and Matthew Davidson.
The World Singles Championship was where he had his breakthrough. The youngest Griffiths brother not only won the Boys U18 World Title but had a breakthrough in the Men’s A. He soared through to the semi-finals, becoming the youngest player ever to reach that stage. Eventually, he fell to Jesper Ratzer and lost the bronze-medal match to Morten Jaksland but it was an incredible run.
Griffiths now heads to 2022 as a player that absolutely nobody will want to face. How long will it be until we see the two Griffiths brothers facing off in the final of an FIR World Tour event?
Florian Harca finished second in the vote with Ylvie Zahn third and Jakob Rosenberger fourth and Yannic Andrey fifth.
Breakthrough Player of the Year – Myriam Enmer
You voted Myriam Enmer as your Breakthrough Player of the Year.
After making her FIR World Tour debut in 2020, Myriam Enmer has exploded on the circuit in 2021. The French star appeared in more tournaments than anyone apart from Anna-Klara Ahlmer and made quite an impact as well.
The French star got three silver medals in six tournaments in singles while also picking up two Women’s Doubles titles in five tournaments. Her run through to the semi-finals of the World Singles Championship was also a landmark moment and next year she’ll be chasing a spot on the podium.
Perhaps her highlight was at the SWT GRAWE sidebyside 15. Austrian Open where she forced her way into the Gummiarm Playoff with a career-best win over Zuzana Severinová.
Her superb work effort has seen her burst into the top-10 of the Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles World Rankings. With no rankings points to defend from 2018 or 2019, the only way is up for the prestigious French talent.
Koen Hageraats finished second in the vote – just three behind Enmer – with Adarsh Vikram Narayanaswamy third and Nicolas Lenggenhager fourth.
Newcomer of the Year – Mateusz Skorek
You voted Mateusz Skorek as your Newcomer of the Year.
It takes a special type of player to enter the Men’s B at a World Singles Championship as your first tournament and go on to win. That is exactly what Mateusz Skorek achieved in a remarkable arrival on the FIR World Tour.
None of his matches was easy either. He took out Cyril Hohl, Cédric Junillon, Eric Durand, Thomas Wegmann and Nico Hobi on way to the title. Most impressive was his +1 win over Junillon, a result that drew an enormous crowd to watch the two talents battle away in Switzerland.
The foundation of Skorek’s game is a destructive squash game and he proved that again at the IWT Czech Open. The Pole took out Christian Wiessner to reach the quarter-finals in his Men’s A Singles debut. Alongside Michal Kurek and Rav Rykowski, Skorek forms a dangerous trio of Poles ready to take the Men’s A by storm in 2022.
Nihit Kumar Singh finished second in your vote with Jesse Kiljunen third and Ylvie Zahn fourth.
Women’s Amateur Player of the Year – Fabienne Dony
You voted Fabienne Dony as your Women’s Amateur Player of the Year
In one of the most tightly contested categories in the 2021 awards, Fabienne Dony held off the other 11 nominated players to be crowned the Women’s Amateur Player of the Year.
Dony may have only played two international tournaments in 2021 but she shone in both. The Dutch player took out top seed Virág Sákovic in the semi-finals en route to winning the Women’s B Singles at the World Singles Championship. In her other tournament, she took out top-10 player and former Women’s Seniors No.1 Kirsten Kaptein.
Perhaps her biggest achievement of the year came away from the international circuit. Dony defeated Nicole Eisler in the final of the Swiss National Championship to become the new Women’s Champion.
With two prestigious titles now in her collection, how will she fare in 2022?
Gaëlle Wavre and Jo Shelley finished joint-second, just one vote behind Dony in the category. Alexandra Ogram finished fourth in the vote.
Men’s Amateur Player of the Year – Anthony Duthuillé
You voted Anthony Duthuillé as your Men’s Amateur Player of the Year
While the Amateur Women’s Player of the Year was a close contest, Anthony Duthuillé was the runaway winner in the Men’s category.
The Frenchman was an ever-present force on the FIR World Tour in 2021, taking part in five tournaments across Europe and collecting three B-level titles. His biggest result came at the IWT La Santa Open, where he won the Men’s B Singles title in a hotly-contested field.
Duthuillé has also risen to No.11 in the Men’s Doubles rankings after two superb titles in 2021. First, he took the Men’s B Doubles crown at the IWT Swiss Open alongside Bertrand Carlier. He then took the same title at the World Doubles Championship alongside French debutant Laurent Cocriamont.
Duthuillé had another podium finish in singles at the IWT Czech Open, grabbing a bronze medal. Finally, he took a silver in the Mixed Doubles at the IWT Swiss Open. We know that Anthony Duthuillé will continue to be a familiar face on the FIR World Tour in 2022 – will he continue to be the King of the Amateur players?
Varinder Singh finished second in the vote with Michael Skytte Pedersen and
Tournament of the Year – IWT Club La Santa Open
You voted the IWT Club La Santa Open as the Tournament of the Year.
Kresten Hougaard’s Lanzarote masterclass has done it again! The season-ending showdown at the IWT Club La Santa Open was voted the best tournament by players, beating the World Singles Championship by five votes in a two-horse race for glory.
Taking place at the spectacular Club La Santa, the tournament was taking place for the fourth time and, as usual, was a roaring success among all players. With the facilities at Club La Santa – multiple padel courts, Olympic swimming pools, neverending classes and watersports – it’s no surprise that a large number of players stayed for much longer than just the tournament.
Racketlon’s ultimate holiday tournament was such a success that Kresten Hougaard has confirmed that it is BACK on the calendar in 2022, taking place from December 17-19 in yet another season-ending festive party.
It was excellent that every single tournament that took place this year received at least one vote, showing the calibre of tournaments that took place in 2021. The World Singles Championship finished second in the vote, with the IWT Dunlop Rotterdam Open in third.
Personality of the Year – Sam Barker
You voted Sam Barker as your Personality of the Year.
There’s not a lot to say here other than how proud and honoured I am to have been voted by you all. I love the racketlon family and wouldn’t work as hard as I do if it wasn’t so much fun to follow and play this fantastic sport. I’ve never come across another community of players that are so friendly and supportive and I feel very lucky to say I’ve got friends for life from all over the world because of this sport.
Over 30 players were nominated in total with James Langworthy, Koen Hageraats, Mateusz Skorek and Mohammed Tarik Koubaa all coming in joint-second in the vote. Stine Jacobsen, Morten Jaksland and Jesper Ratzer were all just behind them in joint-third.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer