Myriam Enmer made history on Saturday as she became the first French player to reach an elite singles final at the Racketlon World Championships.
After beating defending champion Stine Jacobsen, the French star will take on Astrid Reimer-Kern, who is returning to the Women’s Singles World Championships final for the third time.
In the Men’s Singles, World Doubles Champions and brothers Leon Griffiths and Luke Griffiths will meet in the semi-finals after coming through the draw on Saturday. The second semi-final will see Koen Hageraats take on René Lindberg as the two make their World Singles Championship semi-final debut.
Holding Graz Women’s Elite Singles
This year’s Holding Graz Women’s Elite Singles was highly anticipated by many, with a lot of people calling it the most open event in a number of years. This was certainly demonstrated by the results as the day progressed.
In the quarter-finals, defending champion Stine Jacobsen came past Irina Olsacher with ease, while Myriam Enmer also impressed against Bettina Bugl. In the bottom half of the draw, we witnessed two thrillers.
Zuzana Severinová and Nathalie Vogel produced an absolute thriller. Vogel took the first three sports by deuce, winning 21-19, 22-20 and 21-19 to lead by six. But Severinová stormed through the tennis set, winning 21-9 to end Vogel’s attempt at a third world title.
The closest match of the day came in the last quarter-final between Anna-Klara Ahlmer and Astrid Reimer-Kern. Ahlmer played some stunning squash against the German to reach 12 points – a rare feat against the former PSA player. But after trailing 9-0 in tennis, Reimer-Kern began to fight back. She needed 16 and managed it, saving two match points in the process to return to the semi-finals once again.
“In the beginning, it was quite surprising for me as I couldn’t find any timing,” Reimer-Kern said after the match as she reflected on her tennis set with Ahlmer. “She had nice slice serves and quite heavy spin on her forehand. I haven’t played that spin in a long time.
“But you always need to fight until the last point. When I saw that she started making mistakes – especially with my slice – I just tried to keep the ball in and give her no speed. I just gave her no pace to make sure she had to start her tennis again from the beginning.”
Motivated by that comeback victory, Reimer-Kern played a fantastic semi-final, beating World No.1 Severinová before tennis. Now, she’s into the World Championship final for a third time.
“It means a lot”, she said when asked about her return to the final. “To be second is not fun, so you always try and go for the title. I will go tomorrow with everything I have to win the title. At the moment, a lot of women are so close so you never know, a lot could happen”.
In the final, she will face Myriam Enmer. The French star, who has been one of the Racketlon World Tour’s most active players, demonstrated her fantastic improvement over the last 12 months as she beat defending champion Stine Jacobsen. A 21-6 tennis set closed out the +13 victory, but it was achieving 13 points in badminton that set her up well. Enmer made history by becoming the first French player to reach the World Singles Championship final. Now she’ll hope to add her name to the list of champions.
Enmer and Reimer-Kern have met once before this year, at the IWT Malta Open. The German won on that occasion, but by just four points.
Watch the full Holding Graz Women’s Elite Singles final live at 08:00CET here on Sunday, August 28.
The full Holding Graz Women’s Elite Singles results are available here.
The OVB Team Thausing Men’s Elite Singles
After the drama of Friday, Saturday’s OVB Team Thausing Men’s Elite Singles category returned with the second round and quarter-finals.
Just three seeds remained after Friday’s play, and all three moved into the quarter-finals with relative ease. No.2 seed Leon Griffiths beat Sion Wiggin, Kresten Hougaard took out Matthew Davidson and Luka Penttinen ended Austrian hopes as he beat wildcard Georg Stoisser.
The tightest match of the second round saw Denmark’s Malte Thyregod edge past Simon Vaclahovsky by four points after trailing heading into tennis.
There was more drama in the quarter-finals though, as two of the three remaining seeded players made their exit – although both to in-form players. Luke Griffiths made the semi-finals last year in a landmark breakthrough. He’s back at the biggest stage again after beating No.3 seed Kresten Hougaard by 18 points. That sets up a mouthwatering semi-final clash with brother Leon Griffiths after he ended Malte Thyregod’s career-best World Championships run.
Speaking ahead of the semi-final, Luke said “It’s always going to be tough. Obviously, he’s a very good player and mentally it’s always tough playing your sibling.
“In a way, I’m pleased though. Because it means that we’ve both done as well as we could have done in reaching the semi-finals. I’m so proud of both of us and I just hope it will be a good game.”
In the top half, the man of the moment Koen Hageraats produced more flawless table tennis and squash to end the hopes of Luka Penttinen. Hageraats is making his debut in the semi-finals of a World Championships, as is his opponent, René Lindberg. The Swede beat Cornelius Radermacher in the highest quarter-final encounter, winning by nine points after winning table tennis, squash and tennis. Earlier in the day, he ended the hopes of Florian Harca, who was exhausted after his incredible efforts on Friday.
Speaking ahead of his semi-final, Lindberg said “I always believe that I can win. It’s going to be a tough match of course. It’s going to be really crucial to play very good badminton because I’m probably going to be destroyed at table tennis.”
The OVB Team Thausing Men’s Elite Singles begin at 10:00CET and you can watch them both live here.
The full OVB Team Thausing Men’s Elite Singles results are available here.
Villach Tourismus Men’s B Singles
Four players remain in the Villach Tourismus Men’s B Singles draw after two rounds of action were completed on Saturday. After helping India win the Nations Cup on Friday, Sidharth Nandal is in the semi-finals after wins over Laurent Cocriamont and Matthew Haynes.
The No.15 seed will take on Léon Mamié for a place in the final. The Swiss player took out a pair of Austrians – Stefan Urban and Roland Pichler – in impressive fashion to reach this stage.
There will be just one Mamié brother in the semi-finals though after Noah lost his quarter-final match against Jakub Svec. The Czech player will now take on Guidi Weijel. The improving Dutchman recorded impressive wins over David Bennett and Kamil Stanek to move within one win of the final.
Both semi-finals will be available to watch live, starting at 12:20CET here.
The full Villach Tourismus Men’s B Singles results are available here.
Holding Graz Women’s B Singles
Similarly, the Women’s B Singles draw is also at the semi-final stage, after an impressive day of action in Graz.
The biggest win of the day went to Girls U16 World Champion Aadirai K A. The youngster played nerveless tennis to eliminate top seed, Matilda Parslow, by four points. In the semi-finals, she’ll take on last year’s Czech Open Women’s B Singles champion Lucie Hlavacova.
In the bottom half, the USA’s Joanne Schickerling continues her sensational international racketlon debut. After winning the Women’s B Doubles and Challenge Cup crowns earlier in the week, she took out No.2 seed Stine Krogsøe to reach the semi-finals.
Joining her is Hungary’s Virág Sákovics. The No.4 looked impressive through her first two matches, taking out in-form Stephanie Chung and Cherisse Lau.
Both semi-finals will be available to watch here, with matches beginning at 10:20CET.
The full Holding Graz Women’s B Singles results are available here.
Mixed B Doubles
As well as reaching the Holding Graz Women’s B Singles semi-finals, Aadirai K A will also leave Graz as a Mixed B Doubles champion. That’s after the final was held in the middle of the afternoon.
Playing alongside Adarsh Vikram Narayanaswamy, they were taking on British pair and No.2 seeds Matilda Parslow and Johnny Bispham.
The table tennis was tight in the final, with the Indian pair winning 21-19. The match turned in badminton though, with the Brits suffering a heavy 21-6 loss. They were unable to turn things around, losing the squash 21-17 to see the title head to India – adding to their huge medal haul at these Championships.
The full Mixed B Doubles results are available here.
Men’s C Singles
There may yet be more medals for India after Vikramaditya Chaufla won a gummiarm to reach the semi-finals of the Men’s C Singles. The Indian player beat Stefan Faschauner to set up a semi-final against Fabian Bergande. The German has made an impressive run to this stage, taking out established players Jon Spinks, Joel Durston and Leon Sam emphatically.
It’s an all-French semi-final in the bottom half, as the nation continues to emphasise its improving strength in depth. Juniors U16 Singles World Champion Lucas Steyer will take on Jules Riss for a spot in the final.
The full Men’s C Singles results are available here.
Holding Graz Women’s C Singles
One round of fixtures remains in this four-player box league, with Durmus Dilek currently leading the standing. The Turkish player beat Afghanistan players Lali Kobra and Amiri Muhadas to end the day as the only player with two wins.
She’ll take on Olena Protsyk on Sunday. The Ukrainian beat Muhadas but lost to Kobra. With a chance of a Gummiarm Playoff still on the cards, Kobra will hope to beat Muhadas on Sunday to keep her chances alive.
The full Holding Graz Women’s C Singles results are available here.
Men’s D Singles
Two Polish players are still alive in the Men’s D Singles draw, with the prospect of an all-Polish final very much on the cards.
Adam Borkowski won the Juniors U13 Doubles title in Vienna, and now faces Hong Kong’s Hei Nam Lee for a spot in Sunday’s final.
In the other half of the draw, Leonhard Prager takes on Szajda Przemyslaw. Through three matches, Prager has dropped just one set and looks in exceptional form heading into this semi-final.
The full Men’s D Singles results are available here.
Men’s E Singles
Two Austrians are still standing in the Men’s E Singles category, with both looking to reach the final in their home event. Peter Fauland will take on Afghanistan’s Nazari Shapar in the top half of the draw.
In the bottom half, Peter Kandlbauer will play Israel’s Ilay Sela. The latter, bizarrely, has reached this stage having not played a match, after receiving a bye and then a walkover.
The full Men’s E Singles results are available here.
BMS First Timers – Graz
The first singles title in Graz was won on Saturday, as Hungary’s Patrik Sebesi won the First Timers category.
Competing on the Racketlon World Tour for the first time, Sebesi was superb. The Hungarian won all of his squash sets, including three of the four to single figures.
In the final he took on Austria’s Valentin Zimmerman, and it was that squash victory that set him up nicely going into tennis. Backing up a 21-8 squash win with an 18-6 tennis win is a perfect way to win your first tournament.
A huge congratulations to all the players that competed for the first time. We hope to see you all back in the future.
The full BMS First Timers results are available here.
All the latest news about the Racketlon World Championships is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / rubinfoto.com