Ahlmer vs. Reimer-Kern & Griffiths vs. Hougaard in Finals | IWT Malta Open

The IWT Malta Open elite singles draws have gone largely as predicted with Anna-Klara Ahlmer, Astrid Reimer-Kern, Leon Griffiths and Kresten Hougaard all reaching the finals.

Ahlmer and Reimer-Kern both defeated Myriam Enmer and Kirsten Kaptein to set up a Sunday showdown for the Women’s Singles title.

Meanwhile, Kresten Hougaard survived a dramatic semi-final against Nicolas Lenggenhager to book a clash with Leon Griffiths for the silverware.

Men’s Singles – Thyregod Shocks Stahl but Falls to Griffiths in Semi-Finals

While we’ve ended up with the final the seedings predicted in Leon Griffiths against Kresten Hougaard, the path to get there involved an array of twists and turns.

After his Mixed Doubles title on Friday, Malte Thyregod was flying high and he translated that form onto the singles court. The Dane began by taking out wildcard Mateusz Skorek in his opener to book in a quarter-final clash with Duncan Stahl.

Thanks to early table tennis and badminton wins, Thyregod actually led by three points heading into the tennis, leaving him needing 19. That proved to be a blessing as he took the match with a dramatic 19-20 tennis set to win by just two points. That performance saw him beat the No.4 seed and advance to the semi-finals.

Awaiting him was Leon Griffiths. The high-flying Brit had made comfortable work of Michal Kurek in the opening round, winning by 23 points before tennis. He made a fast start to the table tennis against Thyregod, winning 21-11. It’s not often we see Griffiths get beaten at badminton but that’s what Thyregod achieved in Malta. The Dane not only won, but triumphed 21-12.

There would be no fairytale story for Thyregod this time though. Griffiths took control of the match with a 21-8 squash win and collected his eight points in tennis with relative ease. A second final of the season for the older Griffiths brother.

Men’s Singles – Hougaard and Lenggenhager Produce Match of the Day

For the third time in three years, Kresten Hougaard and Nicolas Lenggenhager have produced a classic. Their profiles mean that a long game of tennis is needed every time. And for the third time, its Lenggenhager who has narrowly come out on the wrong end.

Lenggenhager had advanced to the semi-final in terrific style, defeating Anthony Duthuillé with a ruthless display before tennis. Lenggenhager reached the final at least month’s Nick Matthew Steel City Open Challenger and was now just one win away from returning.

Hougaard’s route to the semi-finals was also straightforward. He had to work relatively hard but came through his quarter-final against Nikola Mikac thanks largely to a 21-7 badminton victory.

In the semi-final, it was Lenggenhager who shot into the lead. He edged the table tennis 24-22 and then following that up with a badminton clinic, triumphing 21-4. Then began the Hougaard comeback. The Dane won the squash 21-10, leaving Lenggenhager needing 14 for a victory and 13 for a gummiarm in tennis.

The Swiss star got to 12 points on the tennis court before Hougaard finished the game off. Another Malta Open final for the 2017 champion as he looks to win his first singles title since the 2019 Swiss Open.

Griffiths holds the historical advantage ahead of the final. The Brit leads their head to head 5-0, although they have not met since 2019. Will it be Griffiths picking up his second title of the year or can Hougaard get that winning feeling once again in Malta?

The full Men’s Singles results are available here.

Women’s Singles – Reimer-Kern Holds of Enmer to Force Final Against Ahlmer

The Women’s Singles sprung no major surprises on Saturday save for one thrilling showdown between Astrid Reimer-Kern and Myriam Enmer.

Anna-Klara Ahlmer kicked off proceedings with a straightforward victory over Kirsten Kaptein, keeping her tennis rackets in her bag. Reimer-Kern also beat Kaptein later in the day, but the real story was her first match against Enmer.

Reimer-Kern took the table tennis 21-16 but Enmer took a big lead with a 21-7 badminton victory. That lead was ripped apart by Reimer-Kern’s scintillating squash. The German took apart Enmer, winning 21-1 to leave her needing 11 on the tennis court.

Enmer is a sublime tennis player though, and the French star almost managed to pull off the comeback. In the end, Reimer-Kern won the match with a tennis score of 11-18. A +4 victory on the day to leave her with two wins from two on Saturday.

Ahlmer got her second win later in the day as she enjoyed a third meeting of the year with Enmer. The French talent once again won the badminton but was unable to stop Ahlmer’s clinical table tennis and squash, with the Swede winning by 22 points before tennis.

That sets up the first showdown between Ahlmer and Kern in four years on Sunday. They have split their two previous meetings, winning one each. Ahlmer has one title already this year at the French Open, while Reimer-Kern is chasing a first since 2019. Only one of them will leave Malta victorious on Sunday.

The full Women’s Singles results are available here.

Keep up with the IWT Malta Open

Follow the action from the IWT Malta Open on FacebookInstagram and Racketlon.net.

We’ll have a full report from the amateur singles categories coming with our Amateurs and Seniors report on Monday.

Interested in competing in a Racketlon World Tour event? The full 2022 World Tour is available here with a number of tournaments already open for entry.

Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer

Image Credit / Anna-Klara Ahlmer

Share this post:

Our Instagram

Our Facebook