Juniors Singles Preview | Racketlon World Championships 2022

With seven of the Boys Top 10 and seven of the Girls Top 10 ranked players all heading to Vienna, the Juniors Singles events are going to be extremely high quality.

The Juniors Singles categories begin on Saturday, with Juniors and Girls categories at U13, U16, U18 and U21 levels.

There are also Juniors U10 and Juniors U12 categories being played which is fantastic to see. These will use the European Racketlon Union’s Racketlon Youth Concept, a brilliant new way to get youngsters able to play a style of racketlon at an early age.

Let’s dive straight into the previews as we analyse every single draw.

Juniors U21 Singles

Edition: 16th

2021 Champion: Yannic Andrey

Most Titles: Calum Reid (3)

We kick things off with the Juniors U21 Singles, which features four of the world’s top five Boys Juniors. Defending champion Yannic Andrey is not back to try and defend his crown, which means there will be a new name on the trophy in 2022.

Luke Griffiths and Florian Harca are the top two seeds in the 14-player draw. The two established elite players will be favourites to reach the final and begin their tournament with a bye through to the quarter-finals. Griffiths in particular is the most successful Juniors player of all time, having won a number of world titles at various age groups.

British duo Matthew Davidson and Ross Wilson are the other two seeds in the draw. Davidson lands in the top half with Griffiths and opens against Swedish debutant Petrus Eriksson. Wilson also begins against a debutant as he faces Adam Breznen.

There’s more British interest scattered throughout the draw with David Bennett, Ryan Bezer, Anant Gupta and Jamie Watkin-Rees all competing. Outside of Harca, Austrian interest continues with Benjamin Radl, Philipp Stocker, Leon Sam and Marwin Steiner-Pöschl.

Girls U21 Singles

Edition: 15th

2021 Champion: Linda Rohrer

Most Titles: Christine Seehofer-Krenn (4)

Similarly to the Juniors U21 Singles, the defending champion is not returning this year. Linda Rohrer is not heading to Austria leaving the title open for four players to fight over.

Headlining the four-player box league is current Girls U18 World Champion Clarissa Steiner. The Austrian has been a poster girl for this tournament and is one of Austria’s brightest young talents. Could she add a Girls U21 Singles title to the crown she won last year in Switzerland?

Joining Steiner is Great Britain’s Cherisse Lau and Ukrainian duo Ivanna Protsyk and Olena Protsyk. Lau is a player who has flourished at the World Championships in recent outings. She reached the final a year ago, losing out to Rohrer before going on to win the Women’s C Singles later in the tournament.

For the two Protsyks, there is an air of mystery. The two are part of Austria’s First Serve Refugees programme and will be making their international racketlon debut.

Juniors U18 Singles

Edition: 3rd

2021 Champion: Luke Griffiths

Most Titles: Luke Griffiths/Yannic Andrey (1)

With Luke Griffiths not back to defend his title, there are plenty of players in with a chance in this open Juniors U18 Singles draw. Much like the Juniors U21 Singles draw there are 14 players, which means that the top two seeds receive a bye through to the quarter-finals.

Lukáš Dvořák is the top seed while Bastian Böhm is No.2, with the pair both sitting out the first round. Probably the most eye-catching name is Finland’s Jesse Kiljunen. He won the Juniors U16 Singles title last year and is now moving up to have a crack at winning a second. He opens against Austria’s Marwin Steiner-Pöschl. 

In the final last year, Kiljunen beat Leon Sam. They won’t meet in the final again as the No.3 seed lands in the same half as Kiljunen. The other seed in the Juniors U18 Singles draw is Anant Gupta, who will look to return the trophy to Great Britain. If Gupta wins his opener against Valentin Zimmerman then he could face another Brit in Cameron Leighton. Leighton opens against Austria’s Leon Steiner.

In fact, there are lots of Austrians in the draw, with Nino Tajmel, Benjamin Radl and Christoph Steiner also taking part. Cornelius Ried adds a second German face to proceedings, beginning against Steiner.

After winning the Juniors U16 Doubles and Mixed U16 Doubles titles at the World Doubles Championships in Prague last year, David Dvorský is a name to keep an eye on. He opens against debutant Tajmel.

Girls U18 Singles

Edition: 2nd

2021 Champion: Clarissa Steiner

Most Titles: Clarissa Steiner (1)

Last year in Switzerland, this category made its World Championship debut, with three players battling for glory. One year later and we’re delighted to see seven girls competing.

Headling is Girls Singles No.1 Alexandra Ogram. The Brit won the Girls U16 Singles world title back in 2019 and is one of three players to have landed in Group A. With a podium finish in the Women’s Elite at the IWT London Open, Ogram is emerging as a future star and will be tough to beat.

Looking to do just that are Czech Republic’s Klára Byrtusová and Germany’s Alina Reissenauer. With only the group winner progressing to the final, group stage victories are absolutely crucial. Byrtusová has a world championship pedigree, and is currently the Mixed U16 Doubles champion, winning alongside Dvorský last year. It’s a World Championships debut for Reissenauer, who only began her Racketlon World Tour journey this year.

The No.2 seed also finished second in this category last year. Paulina Steiner is the top seed in Group B and is joined by two Brits and an Indian player. While Steiner has a World Championship history, it’s a debut at this level for Holly Ranson, Bethany Pye and Dhritih Kandpal. Pye impressed on her international debut in London, winning the Girls U21 Singles title and finishing as runner-up in the Women’s B Singles.

Juniors U16 Singles

Edition: 15th

2021 Champion: Jesse Kiljunen

Most Titles: Andre-Kristopher Toomjoe/Kris Krawcewicz/Luke Griffiths (2)

In the busiest Juniors Singles category at this year’s World Championships, we’re delighted to see 29 players from eight different nations all competing for the gold medal.

Much like the Juniors U18 Singles draw, Lukáš Dvořák is the top seed and receives a bye through the first round. He is joined in round two by No.2 seed Lucas Steyer and No.3 seed Jakob Rosenberger. Rosenberger moves up to the U16 level after winning the Juniors U13 Singles world title last year. Steyer also has had previous World Championship success after winning the Juniors U13 Teams title with France back in Leipzig.

Three of the other five seeded players are from Austria in the shape of Leon Steiner, Mathias Schilling and Leo Hörtinger. The Austrian seeded dominance is broken up by Great Britain’s Ollie Barton and Switzerland’s Lucas Mateo Moreno. Barton reached the semi-finals at this event last year, falling to Leon Sam.

Czech, Austrian and British players dominate the rest of the draw as they arrive in numbers. Austrians Leonhard Prager, Markus Perschinka, Tobias Wendler, Marijan Rozic, Valentin Zimmermann, Niklas Thuswald and Daniel Habiak are all making their debut. After missing out on seeding by two spots, Sebastian Janser – current Juniors U13 Doubles world champion – is also in, opening against Andreas Kotala.

British eyes are firmly planted on the top half of the draw, where Chase Burgess, Samuel Rank and Raif Fontanelli all join Barton. Burgess is a name to watch after winning the Juniors U16 Singles titles in Sheffield and London this year.

Five Czech players – Max Sedlacek, Matěj Volf, Šimon Kniezek, Vilém Stráník and Martin Voplakal – are scattered amongst the first round matches. Elsewhere, Frenchman Lucas Steyer has a compatriot in Noa Worobel. There are also debutants from both India and Hungary. Aadith K A is flying the flag for India while Daniel Naumescu represents Hungary.

Girls U16 Singles

Edition: 10th

2021 Champion: Lena Schaedler

Most Titles: Nanna Carleke (2)

The future is very bright in Girls’ racketlon. The 14 entries in the Girls U16 Singles are one of the largest numbers we’ve ever seen, and it’s even better to see that these entries have come from six different countries.

Leading the draw as the top seed is defending champion, Lena Schaedler. She produced a superb set of performances a year ago to win her first world title aged just 12. Now, she returns looking to defend that title and become just the second player to win this title twice after Nanna Carleke.

Schaedler is not the only world champion in the draw. Current Girls U13 Singles winner Ylvie Zahn is at the other end of the bracket as the No.2 seed. They are joined by a third German, Alina Reissenauer, who is also partnering with Schaedler in the doubles.

The other two seeded spots are taken by Great Britain’s Bethany Pye and Czech Republic’s Melánie Tomková. Tomková is one of three Czech in the draw, with Annemarie Del Favero and Marie Beranová joining Tomková in the bottom half of the draw.

Also in the bottom half of the draw is the second British entry, Holly Ranson. The USA has its only Junior player of this Championships entered here. Antara Rakshit opens against Romy Nothegger, one of three Austrians competing. Pauline Tajmel and Nina Grüner are the other two home players.

Ensuring that this draw has players from three continents are Indian duo Dhritih Kandpal and Aadirai K A. Kandpal opens against Pye while K A takes on Del Favero.

Juniors U13 Singles

Edition: 12th

2021 Champion: Jakob Rosenberger

Most Titles: Kris Krawcewicz/Tinko Schnegg (2)

One thing that is guaranteed is that one young racketlon player will get his hands on a first-ever World Singles title. After finishing with a bronze medal last year, Germany’s Henri Zahn is the player with the most experience. Zahn is the top seed in Group A, with each of the two groups featuring five players. Each of the youngsters will get plenty of match experience, as they’ll have to play four matches just to qualify for the final.

Joining Zahn in Group A is Austria’s Robin Sam, South Korea’s Tobin Chang, Great Britain’s Charlie Hill and Czech Republic’s Damian Roman. Sam and Hill have both played once before, with Sam taking part in last year’s Austrian Open and Hill this year’s London Open. For both Chang and Roman, this is their first step into racketlon.

Group B is led by No.2 seed Daniel Austin and No.3 seed Michal Fojtík. Austin has racketlon silverware already, having won the Juniors U13 Singles title at each of the last two London Opens. Fojtik won a bronze medal at the Czech Open last year, only losing to current World Champion Rosenberger.

Like Group A, two members of Group B are making their debuts; Poland’s Borys Wasilewski and Austria’s Marijan Rozic. Completing the group is Romeo Sam, who, like brother Robin, made his debut at last year’s Austrian Open.

Girls U13 Singles

Edition: 3rd

2021 Champion: Ylvie Zahn

Most Titles: Lina Strassle/Ylvie Zahn

Last year, Ylvie Zahn beat Lena Schaedler and Ewa Kozlowska to win the Girls U13 Singles crown. In order to retain her title, she’ll have to do that again. Zahn, Schaedler and Kozlowska are three members of a five-player box league where everyone will play everyone for the title.

Joining the experienced trio of Zahn, Schaedler and Kozlowska are a couple of debutants. Like Zahn and Schaedler, Nina Grüner is taking part in the Girls U13 Singles as well as the Girls U16 Singles. The fifth and final player is debutant Finnish player Elma Vuorinen.

Juniors U12 Singles

Utilising the superb Racketlon Youth Concept, there are Juniors U12 and Juniors U10 Singles events taking place alongside the World Championships. The first of these that we’ll have a glance over is the Juniors U12 Singles.

There are 14 players competing in this draw, with Yorsalem Luul and Henri Zahn the two seeds receiving a bye through to the quarter-finals. The rest of the first round is all matches between Austria and Germany. The only exception is one match featuring Great Britain’s Henry Flatman. Flatman faces Austria’s Fynn Borchert. Borchert is one of six Austrians competing, with Christoph Wagner, Henri Widu, Leon Borchert, Robin Sam and Romeo Sam the others.

Germany is the nation that completes the draw. As well as the top two seeds, Charlotte Böll, Lara Altmann,  Anthony Müller, Elizaveta Eliseeva and Nina Altmann are also in the mix.

Juniors U10 Singles

Seven of the kids that are in the Juniors U12 Singles are also in the Juniors U10 Singles. Yorsalem Luul is once again the top seed and is joined by Charlotte Böll, Elizaveta Eliseeva, Robin Sach, Anthony Müller and Nina Altmann.

Great Britain’s Henry Flatman is also competing in both draws. The final spot in the draw is taken up by Turkey’s Deniz Korer, who is beginning his racketlon journey in Vienna.

We need to extend a huge thanks once again to the European Racketlon Union for establishing the Racketlon Youth Concept. This unique innovation has allowed us to open racketlon up to these youngsters and allow them to get out on court at the Racketlon World Championships. Good luck to all the players taking part in both categories!

The Juniors Teams preview is available here.

The Seniors Teams preview is available here.

The tournament previews will continue throughout the week as we build up to the Racketlon World Championships.

Follow all the latest Racketlon World Championships news here.

Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer

Image Credit / Leigh Sands

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