Zuzana Severinová will become the new Women’s Singles No.1 at the start of May after she beat Myriam Enmer on Sunday to claim the Nick Matthew Steel City Open Women’s Singles title.
Severinová’s victory ends the historic seven-year run of Christine Seehofer at the top of the women’s game.
It was also a perfect start to the season for Men’s Singles World No.1 Morten Jaksland. The Dane recovered from a slow start on Saturday to win the title with two impressive performances against Luke Griffiths and Nicolas Lenggenhager.
Women’s Singles – Severinová Secures Triple Crown and World No.1 Spot on Landmark Day
On a weekend that featured an incredibly high-quality Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles box league, Zuzana Severinová shone brightest.
The Czech player started Sunday with two doubles titles in her bag but it all still to play for in singles. With all four players winning one and losing one on Saturday, anyone could still claim the trophy.
The first match on court was Severinová against Myriam Enmer. The rising French star had beaten Severinová in their only previous meeting in Austria last year. This time, Severinová got her revenge. The Czech dominated the match from start to finish, winning by +29 before tennis.
That meant that she had one hand on the title. Now, she was relying on Anna-Klara Ahlmer to beat Stine Jacobsen. If Jacobsen won then the Dane would win the title. If Ahlmer won then Severinová would win.
Ahlmer made a very fast start, winning the table tennis 21-9 before Jacobsen took badminton 21-8. Ahlmer re-opened her lead after squash, winning 21-11 to leave her needing 13 on the tennis court. The two have often had very tight tennis sets in the past. Not today though.
Ahlmer dominated the tennis set to win 13-7, leaving Severinová as the champion, Ahlmer in second and Enmer in third, with Jacobsen missing out on the podium due to head-to-head record.
Severinová’s victory secured her a third career Triple Crown. More impressively, it secures her a spot at the top of the World Rankings. It’s a historical moment for racketlon and one she and the sport will remember for years to come.
The full Women’s Singles results are available here.
Men’s A Singles – Gummiarm Drama as Lenggenhager Topples Plettenberg
The story of Saturday in Sheffield was all about Luke Griffiths beating older brother Leon Griffiths on a gummiarm in the quarter-finals. Very little was spoken about how his next match would be against current World No.1 Morten Jaksland.
The Dane had come through two tough matches against Duncan Stahl and Jermaine Manners on Saturday. Now he faced his biggest challenge of the weekend against Luke Griffiths.
The Brit led by eight after two sports with his 21-4 badminton win cancelling out Jaksland’s 21-12 table tennis triumph. The World No.1 turned the screw in the second half of the squash, winning 21-14 after Griffiths had 10 at the change of ends. From there, Jaksland outplayed Griffiths on the tennis court, winning 21-13 to book his place in the final.
The second semi-final saw one of the most dramatic matches of the year so far. Max Plettenberg and Nicolas Lenggenhager had played a topsy-turvy match where momentum had swung all over the place. By the end of the squash, Lenggenhager was left needing 19 points for the victory.
Plettenberg created four match points for himself but couldn’t quite close it out, with Lenggenhager getting to 18 points to force a gummiarm. Plettenberg won the toss and forced Lenggenhager to serve, with the Swiss star easily getting it in. What followed was an epic and historical point that lasted over three minutes as the two warriors traded forehands from the baseline.
In the end, it was Lenggenhager’s movement into the net that finished the match. The Swiss player forced the error out of Plettenberg, who lay exhausted on the floor at the end of the match.
Men’s A Singles – Jaksland Defeats Lenggenhager for First 2022 Title
Those results left Jaksland and Lenggenhager to contest the final. Remarkably, this was the first meeting between the two on the singles court.
It was expected that Lenggenhager would dominate the badminton while Jaksland would do his damage on the squash and tennis courts. That left the table tennis as a crucial sport for Lenggenhager to give himself a chance. It was Jaksland that won though, sealing a 21-18 table tennis win.
The duo did split the middle two sports. Lenggenhager won the badminton to eight before Jaksland returned the favour in squash. That left the Dane needing 19 on the tennis court. In the end, he reached his target with minimal fuss, winning 19-8 to get his hands on a 17th career Men’s Elite Singles title.
For Lenggenhager, it’s a second Men’s Elite Singles final and a second loss. It’s hugely encouraging for the Swiss player that he’s reaching multiple finals now as he looks to cement his place in the Top 10 of the World Rankings.
Griffiths did end up on the podium after a dominant 21-8 tennis set secured victory against Plettenberg in the bronze medal match.
The full Men’s A Singles results are available here.
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Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image / Kate Ogram