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Graenicher Wins 1st Singles Title Since 2016

From racketlon.net by Sam Barker:

Benjamin Graenicher beat both the defending champion and World No.1 on his way to lifting the SWT Austrian Open presented by GRAWE sidebyside Men’s A Singles title. The title in Austria is Graenicher’s first since the 2016 IWT Winners’ Events Turkish Open.

Men’s A: Seeds all Reach Semi-Finals

It was an action-packed day for all players with all singles finals taking place on Saturday. That meant that, in the Men’s A, all players would play three matches – from the quarter-final stage onwards.

The quarter-finals went very much to plan, with all four seeded players advancing to the semi-finals. Morten Jaksland, Rav Rykowski and Benjamin Graenicher all won before tennis, beating Oliver Buhler, Stephan Schmutzer and Emanuel Schopf before tennis.

Second seed Arnaud Genin was taken to tennis by Bernhard Pilsz but was able to get over the line with the five points he needed.

The semi-finals were both thrilling matches. Morten Jaksland and Rav Rykowski have a rich history, with two meetings in the last 12 months. Jaksland won their only meeting this year and was on hand to do it again today.

The Dane won the table-tennis 21-14 to lead into badminton as expected. Rykowski always wins the middle two sports. However, today Jaksland scored the most amount of points he’d ever done against Rykowski in both badminton and squash, getting 11 and 17. That left Rykowski needing 17 in tennis. That was always going to be a challenge and Jaksland strolled to a tennis win to book his spot in the final.

The second semi-final pitted No.4 seed Benjamin Graenicher against No.2 seed Arnaud Genin. Genin won the badminton 21-2 but Graenicher won the other three sports in a hugely impressive display. Graenicher took the table tennis 21-5 and followed that up with a 21-19 squash win. That left a full set of tennis to decide the winner. Graenicher showed his experience, battling to a 21-14 win to reach his first singles final since 2017.

BeniArnaud-1024x768.jpg

(Benjamin Graenicher and Arnaud Génin)

Men’s A: Graenicher Back in the Winners Circle

Jaksland also had to play the Men’s Doubles final – which we’ll review later – before the Men’s A singles final. That left the World No.1 exhausted and slightly injured heading into the final.

Graenicher made the most of his opportunity, forcing the wounded World No.1 to move more than he would have liked. After taking the table tennis 21-10, the Swiss star followed it up with a brutal 23-21 badminton win. If Graenicher could keep Jaksland below 13 in the squash, he would win his first title in over three years.

Jaksland made a good start to the squash set but couldn’t sustain his level. His injury impacted him and Graenicher capitalised, winning 21-12 with a series of drop shots. That victory gave him a +22 lead and the title.

Having spent much of this season injured, this is a superb achievement for Graenicher and marks him as yet another contender with the World Championships looming.

Gränicher krönt Comeback mit Sieg

Eine Woche nach dem London Open beweist Benjamin Gränicher auch bei seinem Comeback auf der Night Tour, dass er nach seiner Verletzungspause wieder topfit ist. In Uster setzt er sich der Reihe nach gegen André Bandi, Claude Näscher und Christian Schäfer durch. Dabei gibt der Tischtennisspieler im Badminton lediglich 29 Punkte ab, im Squash sind es 36 und im Tischtennis 49. Mit diesem Erfolgt stösst Gränicher wieder auf Position 1 des Rankings vor. Christian Schäfer muss sich wie schon in London Gränicher geschlagen geben, kann sich aber im Halbfinal Raphael Paglia vom Leibe halten, der sich danach gegen Näscher den dritten Platz sichert.
 
In der Kategorie B bestätigt Jan Michálek, Tennisspieler mit kurzer ATP-Erfahrung, seine Wildcard. Er spielt sich nach einem gewonnen Gummiarm gegen Leonard Ladner in der ersten Runde bis in den Final durch. Dort muss er sich in einem hart umkämpften Match Beat Ladner geschlagen geben, der überraschend alle Disziplinen für sich entscheiden kann. Den dritten Platz in der Kategorie B holt sich Kai Verkuehlen mit einem Sieg über Karim Hanna.
 
Mit Bruno Scherrer und Esther Dübendorfer standen sich im Final der Kategorie C die beiden Topgesetzten gegenüber. Dübendorfer schafft es zwar, vor dem Tennis einen 2-Punkte-Vorsprung herauszuholen, bringt diesen gegen den favorisierten Scherrer aber nicht über die Runden. Als einziger ungesetzter Spieler schafft Filippo Nick den Einzug in die Halbfinals. Danach setzt er sich gegen Fabio Cusano im kleinen Final durch.
 
Bei den Junioren kann sich Favorit Nils Morgenthaler problemlos gegen seine Herausforderer behaupten. Er gewinnt alle Disziplinen und muss nie zum Tennisschläger greifen. Rang zwei geht an Newcomer Ivan Andriesse. Dank einem deutlichen Sieg im Tennis kann Ivan in einer sehr engen Partie Cédric Keller auf den dritten Platz verweisen.
 
Das nächste Turnier der Night Tour findet am 28. September 2019 in Frauenfeld statt.
 
Beat Ladner

The grass is always greener on the other side

For once that is completely true and nothing negative. The fastest sold out tournament in racketlon history (in just under 3 hours) featured the green tennis surface. Held at the exclusive Roehampton Club in the south of London, it was a spectacular event. With 28 tennis courts, a full golf course, several croquet fields, old ladies sipping tea it fulfilled every cliché of the English upper class.

Rumour has it that the Wimbledon qualification rounds were moved to another location just to ensure the best possible court quality for this racketlon challenger tournament. Most exciting from an international point of view was the racketlon debut of Alison Water, current squash world ranking no. 11, making the finals in the women’s A tournament.

Most successful Swiss player with three medals in the elite categories was Benjamin Gränicher, now officially fully recovered from injury. Jan Wyler won his first international medal in Men C doubles. Up and coming Leonard Ladner finished third on the Men’s C podium. Best lunch goes to Oliver Bühler and Christian Schäfer. Best tennis advice came from Beat Ladner.

As the racketlon players behaved better than the Wimbledon qualifiers, there is a good chance that the tour will return to the same location. It is highly recommended by the writer to join next year for one of the best events on tour.

Benjamin Gränicher

Swiss players on every podium

...apart from the Men Elite and Men Seniors +50. Patrick Lorenz was not able to defend the title he won at the last Swiss Open 2 years ago because he had another important life event this weekend. All the best to Daniela und Patrick Casanova (former Lorenz!) from the Swiss Racketlon Federation. Nicolas Lenggenhager was the best Swiss player in this draw. He could seriously challenge later runner up and proved himself to be not too far away from the world’s best players.

In the Women Elite we had Nicole Eisler, who has never missed a Swiss Open so far, on the podium winning bronze. 

For all the other 30.5 medals won by Swiss players check out fir.tournamentsoftware.com and just enjoy the sight of so many Swiss flags ;-)

What else?

With Nina and Isabel Waidacher and Dimitri Steinmann we had 3 players participating who normally stand on other podiums. Nina Waidacher won bronze with the Swiss hockey team at the Olympic Games and her Sister Isabel is still a national ice hockey team member. Dimitri Steinmann on the other hand is a pro squash player and the actual number 2 in Switzerland. Thank you 3 for having given Racketlon the honour of your presence! Hope you enjoyed it.

Last but not least, thank you Esther and Florian Dübendorfer for the excellent organisation!

 

NE

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Aktuelle Rankings (1. Februar 2020)

Herren Einzel
1. Benjamin Gränicher
2. Patrick Casanova-Lorenz
3. Christian Schäfer
4. Nicolas Lenggenhager
5. Michael Strässle
6. Oliver Bühler
7. Nico Hobi
8. Raphael Paglia
9. André Bandi
10. Yannic Andrey

Damen Einzel
1. Nicole Eisler
2. Valeria Pelosini
3. Adeline Kilchenmann

Die gesamten Rankings findet ihr hier.

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