Titles for Ahlmer & Griffiths in Paris | IWT French Open

Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Leon Griffiths are the IWT French Open champions after winning the Women’s & Men’s Singles on Sunday.

Anna-Klara Ahlmer comfortably defeated Myriam Enmer in an impressive final to collect her second straight title after December’s IWT La Santa Open.

After surviving a semi-final scare, Leon Griffiths rolled through the final against Luka Penttinen to pick up his fourth title since the start of last season.

Men’s Singles – Griffiths Battles to Reach Final en Route to Title

Leon Griffiths has not been accustomed to too many close matches over the last 12 months but had to deal with two tough encounters in Paris. First, he won his quarter-final against René Lindberg by just six points. The semi-final against Koen Hageraats was even closer.

The match was completely level after the badminton. Hageraats had won 21-6 before Griffiths returned the favour on the badminton court. However, the momentum swung when Hageraats took the squash 21-17 to lead by four points before tennis. 

At 9-9 in the tennis set, it looked like Griffiths was staring at a semi-final defeat and Hageraats was heading for his second final. But the Brits showed his class to soar to a 21-13 tennis set victory and win by four points.

The other semi-final was a much more straightforward affair. Top seed Luka Penttinen took on home favourite Damien Andre and controlled the match from the start. The Finn was 21-7, 21-16, 21-19 to reach the final without the need for tennis.

Leon Griffiths is crowned the IWT French Open champion (Image: Joss Gade)

Penttinen vs. Griffiths. This was the final in November’s IWT Czech Open final. On that day, Griffiths won with relative ease. It was the same outcome in Paris.

Griffiths won the table tennis 21-14 and then backed that up with a crushing 21-9 badminton victory. Penttinen still had a chance to force tennis but that disappeared when Griffiths won the squash 21-13.

For Griffiths, that is now a fourth title since the start of 2021, and a sixth in total. His rapid collection of trophies has seen him move level with Kasper Jonsson on the all-time list and is now just two away from tying Patrick Laplante and joining the Top 10 in the all-time rankings. The Brit should also see another rankings rise as he looks to move into the top four for the first time this year.

Penttinen is already in the top four and this final should help guide him closer to a new career-high. The youngster is making a habit of reaching finals now and his consistent start to the season should stand him in good stead for the rest of 2022.

Damien Andre edged Koen Hageraats by three points to grab himself a bronze medal.

The full Men’s Singles results are available here.

Women’s Singles – Awesome Ahlmer Delivers in France

In Saturday’s tournament report we asked whether Myriam Enmer could finally get a set off of Anna-Klara Ahlmer in their fourth singles meeting on the FIR World Tour. The answer to that question was no, although she came mighty close on the badminton court. What she did do though, was take her to tennis for the first time, albeit for a point.

Ahlmer made a fast start to their final, winning the table tennis 21-9 to open up a healthy 12 point lead. That lead was further extended as she held off Enmer to win the badminton 21-19. The match was all-but wrapped up when the Swede took the squash 21-14, leaving her needing just a single point on the tennis court.

Ahlmer got that point with ease to earn herself the title of IWT French Open champion. That is now Ahlmer’s second consecutive title on the FIR World Tour and the sixth of her career as she continues to cement her status as one of the best in the world.

With Christine Seehofer still out of action, Ahlmer’s attention will definitely be turning to the World No.1 spot. She is closing the gap on the long-time No.1 and, if she continues to win tournaments like this, will be right on the Austrian’s tail in no time.

Ahlmer will be back in action at next month’s Nick Matthew Steel City Open Challenger, where she goes for a seventh title that would put her 10th on the all-time trophies list.

Nicole Eisler finished third to secure a spot on the podium.

Anna-Klara Ahlmer picks up her second title in a row and begins her season in style (Image: Joss Gade)

The full Women’s Singles results are available here.

A report from Friday’s Doubles Day is available here. A report from Saturday’s Singles Day is available here.

A full report of all the amateur, junior and senior classes will be available on Tuesday.

Interested in competing on the FIR World Tour? Check out the full 2022 Tour and get your entry in as soon as possible. All international racketlon tournaments have a wide range of age and ability classes so that all players can enter.

Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer

Image / Joss Gade

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