2023 IWT RSL Finnish Open | Jacobsen wins gold in all three categories, Penttinen retains title

The 2023 edition of the IWT RSL Finnish Open has come to an end. After a great weekend of Racketlon, good times, and a lot of snow we can look back on a successful tournament. Hats off to Poku, Heli, and Racketlon Finland for running a great tournament!

Jacobsen wins gold in three categories

If we can name a player of the tournament, it has to be Stine Jacobsen. She could not have wished for a better start to the 2023 season as the Dane was victorious in all three categories that she played, winning a medal every day! The women’s double with Anna-Klara Ahlmer on Friday, the mixed double with Cornelius Radermacher on Saturday, and her first IWT singles title on Sunday since the Dubai Classic in 2021. The final was against a very familiar opponent, her doubles partner this weekend Anna-Klara Ahlmer. Before the tournament, Jacobsen had won seven of their previous nine meetings, but Ahlmer had won the last two and it is always a very close and exciting match-up. The last two times they played, Ahlmer won table tennis, and in the final, it was no different. She lead 11-10, only by one point at the changeover, and Jacobsen proved to be in good form getting 17 points on the board. Badminton was a slight one-way street for Jacobsen, she was very accurate, stretching the court for Ahlmer and making her do a lot of work. Jacobsen won badminton 21-3. It has to be said that this is Ahlmers first tournament after coming back from injury, the last time she played was at the World Championships in Graz, and after the final, she said she had only been able to train properly for three weeks before the tournament! Going into squash, Jacobsen had build up quite a lead, and has been working on her squash a lot the past year. This was definitely notable, as this was their closest squash match to date. Jacobsen was getting a lot of balls back, playing smart squash and lifting the ball well, whilst Ahlmer was really trying to dominate on the volley and find her targets in the back. It was close all the way through, only 11-9 to Ahlmer at the break, Jacobsen staying close all the way through. Ahlmer played some outrageous boasts and managed to take squash 21-19. This meant that Jacobsen only needed 10 points in tennis. (There was some confusion, as she thought she only needed 8) but she played a typical ‘Stine’ game in tennis, pushing the ball deep and finishing the match with an ace. Ahlmer said that she was happy with how well she did considering she thought that the tournament might have been too soon after her injury, but that she did not feel as comfortable on the tennis court yet and to have any chance against Stine you need to hit, and hit and hit! Jacobsen said that after the match the deciding point of the match was table tennis. The overall score was +15 (17-21 21-3 19-21 10-7). It will be interesting to see what this result will do to the March rankings, as the world no 1 and 2 are very close in points! We can also look forward to many more great matches this season of these two amazing players. 

I think the deciding point was table tennis, that I get seventeen there, sometimes I only get nine so that was really good, badminton was concentrated. Keeping her to three. Squash is always tough with Anna, so that was a good result and tennis is always tough being under pressure for her, that you’re not allowed to give more than 10 away it’s difficult to play tennis then. So it’s a very good result”. – Jacobsen 

Ahlmer (2), Jacobsen (1), Eisler (3)


Nicole Eisler from Switzerland beat Viivi Paksu from Finland in the 3/4 playoff. Eisler did very well to start strong winning table tennis and badminton quite comfortably and taking enough points in squash to not have to go to tennis. the overall score was +23 (21-7 21-4 13-21). Hopefully we will see Viivi at more IWT tournaments this season, the 16 year old is a very promising player. (Eisler had to catch her flight before the award ceremony) 

Penttinen retains Finnish Open title in a great matchup against Jaksland

The men’s elite had to play two matches on Sunday. The first men’s semi-final was between Jaksland and Radermacher. Jaksland was the favourite, having a 5-0 record against Radermacher. They always have very close matches, and today was no different. Jaksland started well, taking an 11-9 lead in table tennis, but Radermacher showed grit and determination staying close to Jaksland in points, but with a few smashes that just missed the table Jaksland took it 21-18. Badminton was a very tense match, Jaksland had an amazing start, helped by some unforced errors from Radermacher, and also good solid badminton from Jaksland himself. He took the lead 11-6 after the first break, and did well to go 20-16 up. Radermacher had different plans as he put his foot down, stretched the court and managed to win 24-22. Squash was also very close, as they traded points at the beginning, very little decisions which made life easy for the referee, and as a squash player myself, I’ve never seen so many drops from the back in a match! Radermacher had amazing cross-court drops, keeping Jaksland on his toes the whole time. Jaksland did well with some nice boasts and good length, taking squash 21-16. He took his good form to tennis, Radermacher had a bit of bad luck, just hitting outside the lines and into the net, and Jaksland stormed to a 16-7 victory and another final. The score was +15 (21-18 22-24 21-16 16-7)

The second semi-final was between wildcard Mustonen and no 4 seed Luka Penttinen. They had only played each other in doubles and there were wins for both sides. Going in beforehand, Mustonen had to do well in table tennis and badminton to get as many points as possible. Squash is a guaranteed win against almost every player, and he showed that by getting his second bagel of the tournament. Penttinen did very well in table tennis, taking a quick 21-6 victory. Badminton was also in Penttinen’s favour, as he only gave away four points. After squash, this meant that Penttinen only needed eleven points for the match. Mustonen won two good points, with one smart lob over Penttinen’s head but that was the end of it. Penttinen was too strong and won tennis 11-2 to set up the final against Jaksland. 

The final was a very high quality match, in which Penttinen showed grit and determination to win his second IWT Finnish Open title. They had only played one singles match before, in the Luxembourg Open Challenger, which was just before covid. Jaksland won that match so had the slight advantage. Penttinen started strong in table tennis, taking the game 21-13. Last time they played, Jaksland won table tennis 21-14, so this definitely set the tone for the rest of the match. Jaksland took an early lead in badminton, being 11-6 up at the change, taking advantage of Penttinen’s deep shots. He was attacking them very well and hitting the lines. After the change, Penttinen changed his tactics and started to fight back, he went up 13-11, hitting some outrageous smashes and drop shots and winning 21-12. Jaksland got a bit frustrated as the match went on, for giving up such a good lead. After the match Penttinen said he started to use the net more, as he was trying to hit deep first and Jaksland was just picking him off. A change that worked very well and was a smart move by the Fin. Squash started with some very long rallies. Jaksland was hitting a lot of good boasts, going up 11-9, but Penttinen did not give up and fought back to 16-16, taking the ball early and aggressive on the volley. It got very tight, but four rallies and four amazing boast winners from Jaksland in a row saw him take squash 22-20. Penttinen only needed 7 points in tennis, and both are very good tennis players. Penttinen took an early lead, however, Jaksland didn’t give up. He fought back with solid tennis and good attacking volleys, but Penttinen was stretching the court making Jaksland cover a lot of ground. Penttinen won tennis 7-5 and his second Finnish Open title. He said that this was probably one of the best matches he’s played which is also a great compliment to Jaksland, showing how tough it is to beat the world no 1.

It was a good match, I figured very early in table tennis that I had to be very aggressive, he took a lead in badminton and I had to change it up a bit and squash, I can play better squash, in tennis I only needed 7 points he’s a strong tennis player and I know with my serve I can get seven points against almost every player and I happened  to serve really well early on. It was probably the best match I’ve ever played” . – Penttinen

Henrik Mustonen took the bronze, in the 3/4 playoff against Cornelius Radermacher. Unfortunately they only played table tennis as Radermacher had to retire, but it was a good tournament for the Fin.

Jaksland (2), Penttinen (1), Mustonen (3)


Juniors U21 – Steyer takes the title

There was only one junior category at this event, with four players. This meant that they only played the U21 matches on Sunday. (all players played in other categories as well). It was Lucas Steyer who took the U21 Finnish Open title, after winning all three matches in the box league. He was playing the last match of the day against Ollie Barton, who had the taxi waiting because their match was running late. It was a very close match that went Steyer’s way. third place was for Leo Karppanen who beat Andreas Kotala in tennis with a gummi arm!


Barton (2), Steyer (1), Karppanen (3)


On a personal note, I had a great time at my first IWT tournament. The Racketlon community is amazing and thank you for welcoming me! Also a special thanks to Ahti for hosting me, and making me drive him and Heli around in the Finnish snow (passed with flying covers)

It’s time to get ready now for the French Open which starts on the 3rd of March! It’s going to be a great tournament, with a 144 players! See you there…


Sanne Veldkamp/ FIR media officer 

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