Lucie Hlavacova, Marek Hrůza, Peter Sákovics, Michal Fojtík, Matěj Volf, Melánie Tomková and Lukáš Dvořák all won multiple titles at the IWT Czech Open as we bring you your full report from the Amateurs, Juniors and Seniors categories.
In total there were 18 Amateurs, Juniors and Seniors categories held at the Hector Sportcentre. Here, we’re going to break down the results from every single category.
Men’s B Singles – Hrůza Wins Back-to-Back Titles After Semi-Final Gummiarm
After his Men’s B Singles title at the Polish Open Challenger, No.2 seed Marek Hrůza entered Prague as one of the favourites. So it was not a big surprise to see the Czech player leave Prague with another Men’s B Singles crown after beating Christofer Hellberg in the final.
It was almost an-all Swedish final, with Hrůza winning a semi-final gummiarm against Anders Lätt to guarantee it would not be. Hrůza had reached the semi-finals off the back of impressive victories over Magnus Edby and Volker Sach.
Both Hellberg and Lätt were returning to the Racketlon World Tour for their first tournaments in four and five years respectively. It was a superb return to action, with both finishing on the podium. Lätt beat Jiří Egermaier for the bronze medal while Hellberg lost to Hrůza in the final by 15 points.
It’s a superb end to the season for Hrůza as he wins back-to-back Men’s B Singles trophies and also wins the Men’s B Doubles (more on that later).
The full Men’s B Singles results are available here.
Women’s B Singles – Hlavacova Defends Women’s B Singles Title
Lucie Hlavacova entered the IWT Czech Open as the defending champion after winning the Women’s B Singles category last year. This year, she returned as the top seed and lived up to her billing, running to the title.
In order to get to the final, Hlavacova had to battle past Manuela Stegmann and Klára Byrtusová. In the end, she beat both without actually dropping a set. That set up a final with Great Britain’s Kirsten Atkinson, who was playing in her first overseas Racketlon World Tour event.
Atkinson’s table tennis and squash were impressive in her opening two matches as she beat both Andrea Sopko and Jana Severinova. In the final though, Hlavacova’s experience proved too much to overcome. Atkinson won the table tennis 21-9 but trailed by six points heading to the tennis court. Hlavacova then won 16-3 to defend her title.
Jana Severinova finished with a bronze medal after beating youngster Klára Byrtusová.
The full Women’s B Singles results are available here.
Men’s B Doubles – Hrůza and Egermaier Win All-Czech Final
Despite there being 15 pairs in the Men’s B Doubles draw, it almost went entirely to seeding. Three of the four seeded pairs made it to the semi-finals, with No.4 seeds Oliver Bodem and Riccardo Raimo the exception. They lost in the first round to Jiří Egermaier and Marek Hrůza.
That, as it turns out, was nothing to be ashamed of though. Egermaier and Hrůza actually went on to win the Men’s B Doubles, beating top seeds Christian Heufelder and Nihit Kumar Singh in the semi-finals by 10 points.
In the final, they faced their Czech counterparts David Skulina and Jakub Svec. Skulina and Svec had cruised past No.2 seeds Matthias Heilbrunner and Dieter Mühl in the semi-finals but found Egermaier and Hrůza too hot to handle in the final.
Skulina and Svec won the table tennis 21-19 but lost the other three sports to see Egermaier and Hrůza win the title by nine points.
No.2 seeds Heilbrunner and Mühl won the bronze medal after a seven-point victory over Heufelder and Singh.
The full Men’s B Doubles results are available here.
Mixed B Doubles – Team Sákovics Triumphs After Downing Czechs
Marek Hrůza almost left Hector Sportcentre as a Triple Crown champion at the B level after reaching the final of the Mixed B Doubles. Hrůza was playing alongside fellow Czech Soňa Königsmarková and they reached the final after wins over Holly Ranson and Jordan Marcus and then Nikola Cemusova and Adam Rektořík.
In the end, though, the title fell into the hands of Virág Sákovics [2, WC] and Peter Sákovics. The Father-Daughter duo beat two Czech pairs to reach the final in Kateřina Zobačová/Mikuláš Zobač and Jana Severinova/Tomas Jirouch. It was fitting that they should win the title by beating another Czech pair.
The two seeded pairs traded the first two sports before the Hungarians pulled away. They won the squash 21-13 before finishing off the match with a 14-6 tennis victory.
Cemusova and Rektořík won the bronze medal match by eight points to complete the podium.
The full Mixed B Doubles results are available here.
Men’s C Singles – Top Seed Sam Soars Through Field
The biggest draw at this year’s IWT Czech Open was the Men’s C Singles, with 24 players competing. Eight seeded players enjoyed a bye through to the second round but only four of those seeds made it through to the quarter-finals.
Three German players were the main instigators of the seeds falling. Alexander Kaess defeated No.4 seed, Benjamin Radl, Christian Schipp knocked out No.3 seed Leon Steiner and No.2 seed Olver Bodem was beaten by Christian Heufelder. Kaess and Heufelder also made it through to the semi-finals, beating Riccardo Raimo and Matěj Volf respectively.
But it was Austrian teenagers Leon Sam and Leonhard Prager who ended up in the final, with Prager beating Heufelder by just two points to get there. In the final, it was Sam that emerged victorious. A dominant 21-6 badminton win was the cornerstone of his victory, as he won the match by seven points to collect his first Racketlon World Tour title.
The full Men’s C Singles results are available here.
Men’s D Singles – Sebesi Wins Thrilling Final
Of all the finals that took place at the IWT Czech Open, few were as dramatic as the Men’s D Singles.
Hungary’s Patrik Sebesi and Austria’s Dieter Mühl were the two players contesting the final. Sebesi had taken out Germany’s Stefan Steckermeier and No.2 seed Martin Voplakal on his way to the final. Meanwhile, Mühl beat Máté Horváth and edged past top seed Michal Fojtík.
In the final, it was Mühl who took the table tennis and badminton 21-14 to establish an impressive 14-point lead. Sebesi then began his comeback. The Hungarian won the squash 21-13 to cut the lead to just six points. In a nerve-jangling final exchange, Sebesi took the tennis set 21-14 to win the overall match by just one point.
The full Men’s D Singles results are available here.
Juniors U18 Singles – Böhm Cements Status as Best at U18 Level
Whichever way you look, it was another superb weekend for Bastian Böhm. The German not only reached the semi-finals of the Men’s A Singles but also blasted his way to the Juniors U18 Singles crown. The truth is, Böhm was utterly dominant in this five-player box league.
Böhm won three of his four matches before tennis. On top of that, the only set he dropped in those four matches was badminton 21-19 against Men’s C Singles champion Leon Sam. He still went on to win that match by 20 points.
The real battle came behind Böhm for the remaining podium positions. It was Leon Sam who took the silver medal after beating the remaining three players. Austria added a third player to the podium as Benjamin Radl saw off both David Dvorský and Marwin Steiner-Pöschl to snatch the bronze medal.
The full Juniors U18 Singles results are available here.
Mixed Juniors U18 Doubles – Tomková and Dvořák Beat Former World Champions
It was an almost entirely Czech affair in the Mixed Juniors U18 Doubles, with seven of the eight players hailing from Czechia. Slovakia’s David Dvorský was the lone exception, as he teamed up once again with Klára Byrtusová. The duo won the Mixed Juniors U16 Doubles World title here 12 months ago, but could only settle for silver this year.
The title instead was won by Melánie Tomková and Lukáš Dvořák. The pair had the perfect run to the final, beating the No.2 seeded pair of Marie Beranová and Filip Gnida in the semi-finals before beating the top seeds in the final.
In the final, they took the lead early with a 21-12 table tennis win and never let up. In the end, they beat Byrtusová and Dvorský by 16 points to both win their first-ever Mixed Doubles title.
The full Mixed Juniors U18 Doubles results are available here.
Juniors U18 Doubles – Dvořák and Volf Build on World Championships Success
After winning the Juniors U16 Teams World Championship title together representing Czechia, Lukáš Dvořák and Matěj Volf teamed up in Prague to triumph once again.
The Czech pair dominated the field, dropping just one set in their two matches as they rolled to an impressive title. That one dropped set came against Daniel Jendřejek and Šimon Kniezek as they lost the badminton 21-18. They still went on to win the match by 17 points, having earlier beaten David Dvorský and Martin Voplakal to seal their title.
The full Juniors U18 Doubles results are available here.
Juniors U16 Singles – Doubles Pair Collide in Final
Lukáš Dvořák and Matěj Volf may be triumphant double partners, but they found themselves facing off in the final of the Juniors U16 Singles. After receiving a bye through the first round, top seed Dvořák battled past Filip Gnida and No.4 seed Leonhard Prager to reach the final.
It was an even longer route to the final for Volf. He beat Daniel Jendřejek in the opening round. After that, he took out back-to-back seeds in No.3 Andreas Kotala and No.2 Leon Steiner. That just left him with the No.1 seed in the final.
Volf took the early lead with a 21-6 table tennis victory before Dvořák won both the badminton and squash 21-19. Dvořák was also leading for most of the tennis set but couldn’t complete the comeback. Volf got the 11 points he needed in tennis to win by +7.
Having also reached the Men’s C Singles final, Prager finished with a bronze medal after beating compatriot Steiner.
The full Juniors U16 Singles results are available here.
Girls U16 Singles – Ruthless Ranson Produces Masterclass
Nowhere across the IWT Czech Open will you have found a more dominant display than the Girls U16 Singles. Holly Ranson is still a relative newcomer to the Racketlon World Tour but was enormously impressive in Prague. Not only did the Brit win all three of her matches before tennis, but she won eight of her nine sets to just four points or less.
The only player able to get more than four points in any set was Melánie Tomková. The top seed managed to get 19 points in their table tennis match. With Ranson taking home the gold medal and her first Racketlon World Tour Singles title, the battle was for the other podium places.
In the end, Tomková snatched the silver after a slender +2 victory over Annemarie Del Favero. That loss left Del Favero with the bronze as Marie Beranová missed out on silverware.
The full Girls U16 Singles results are available here.
Mixed Juniors U16 Doubles – Tomková and Prager Take the Title
Leonhard Prager already has a silver medal in the Men’s C Singles and a bronze medal in the Juniors U16 Singles. So it seems only fitting that he completed the set with a gold medal in the Mixed Juniors U16 Doubles.
That title came alongside Czech player Melánie Tomková. Their triumphant run began with an 18-point victory against Annemarie Del Favero and Michal Fojtik. They then guaranteed the gold with a dominant +27 win over Marie Beranová and Vilém Stráník.
The full Mixed Juniors U16 Doubles results are available here.
Juniors U16 Doubles – U13 World Champion Fojtík Soars with Zobač
Michal Fojtík has already proved his doubles credentials this year after winning the Juniors U13 Doubles World Championship title in Austria. So it was little surprise to see him pick up another title, this time alongside Mikuláš Zobač.
The two did not drop a set in their two-box league matches. They first beat Filip Gnida and Vilém Stráník to set up a showdown with Damian Roman and Vít Zobač. The latter managed 19 points in the squash set but it was still Fojtík and Zobač that were triumphant.
The full Juniors U16 Doubles results are available here.
Juniors U13 Singles – Superb Fojtík Dominates
Three of the players competing in the Juniors U16 Doubles were also involved in the Juniors U13 Singles. Michal Fojtík, Damian Roman and Vít Zobač were the players in question, with the players facing each other in a Box League.
Similar to the Juniors U16 Doubles, it was Fojtík who was victorious. The young Czech once again won both of his matches without needing his tennis racket. That triumph sees Fojtík win the first singles title of his young career.
Roman grabbed the silver medal after beating Zobač.
The full Juniors U13 Singles results are available here.
Seniors +40 Singles – Mikac Battles to Superb Title as Top Seed
With a host of World Championship finalists littered amongst the draw, the Seniors +40 Singles was an eye-catching affair. In the end, though, it was top seed Nikola Mikac who lived up to his billing, despite a number of close matches.
His first-round win against Christofer Hellberg was his most straightforward win as he triumphed by 22 points.
His semi-final against Daniel Åhlander was a much tougher affair. The Swede had knocked out Marek Hrůza on a gummiarm in the previous round, and almost managed the same against Mikac. In the end, though, the Croat snuck through by six points, thanks largely to a 21-7 table tennis result.
In the final, Mikac took on Anders Fyrst. The Dane has looked marvellous in his opening two matches, coming past Czech pair Tomas Jirouch and Jiří Egermaier with ease. In the final, 10 was the magic number. Mikac beat Fyrst at table tennis and squash 21-10, while Fyrst won the badminton by the same scoreline.
Mikac got the 11 points he needed on the tennis court to win the match by 10 points and seal the title. Having nearly beaten Mikac in the semi-finals, Åhlander completed the podium with a bronze medal.
The full Seniors +40 Singles results are available here.
Seniors +45 Doubles – Hobzik and Pospisil Triumph on Home Soil
There’s something quite magical about winning a racketlon trophy on home soil. That is exactly what Richard Hobzik and Milos Pospisil achieved as they rolled to the Seniors +45 Doubles crown in Prague.
They actually achieved their victory by beating another Czech pair in the final; Tomas Jirouch and Lubomir Pala. Both pairs had beaten a seeded pair on the way to the final, but it was Hobzik and Pospisil who was the better duo in the final.
They took the table tennis 21-16 before producing a crushing 21-9 badminton set. Jirouch and Pala kept the match alive after getting 19 points on the squash court. But they couldn’t mount a magical comeback, with Hobzik and Pospisil getting the three points they needed in tennis to secure the title.
The full Seniors +45 Doubles results are available here.
Seniors +50 Singles – Jonsson Marks Return with Title
When Mikael Jonsson played returned to the Racketlon World Tour at August’s World Championships, he produced an immediate thriller. In his first round, the Swede beat Jan Port on a dramatic gummiarm. So it was quite a joy to see him draw Port again in the Seniors +50 Singles draw at the IWT Czech Open.
This time, Jonsson managed to get the job done earlier. But it was still a battle. Jonsson beat Port by just six points, before taking out No.2 seed Ulrich Schlepphorst to reach the final.
There, he would take on Czechia’s Milos Pospisil. After his battle with Port in the first round, Jonsson did not drop another set. He cruised through both the semi-final and final to win in impressive fashion and join the likes of Magnus Edby in bringing a Seniors Singles title back to Sweden.
The full Seniors +50 Singles results are available here.
Seniors +55 Singles – Sákovics Wins First Singles Title of the Season
It’s not often that we can say Peter Sákovics has got to November without winning a singles title on the Racketlon World Tour. That was the situation before the IWT Czech Open. That is no longer the case.
Sákovics beat Marc-André Rauber and Miroslaw Kalicki on his way to setting up a final against Seniors +60 Singles World Champion Magnus Edby. Edby had beaten both Radu Ionescu and Volker Sach to reach the final. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw from the final, leaving Sákovics as the champion.
The full Seniors +55 Singles results are available here.
The full Sunday report from the Elite categories is available here.
Interested in competing on the Racketlon World Tour? Entry to the La Santa Open in December, the final event of 2022, is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image / Filip Rejthar