Gold for King and Hillman in Nussloch

A classic milestone in the FIR International Tour, the German Open took place once again in Nussloch Racket Center. Due to the upcoming Team & Doubles World Champs, the attendance was limited compared to previous years, but the quality of the event and its winners were not to be denied. Top players in Elite categories, a perfectly held schedule and a really pleasant environment (clay courts, places to camp, small pool...) make the German Open an event not to miss next year!

With Simon Engler, Benjamin Hampl, Graham King, Beat Ladner, Patrick Lorenz, Christian Schäfer, Lukas Spring and Michael Straessle we had a strong Swiss selection in Germany and a great team spirit.

Starting with doubles and mixed matches on Friday top seeded Hampl/Schäfer were overrun by the Danish team Larsen/Jaksland, the subsequent winner of the A draw. Straessle/Lorenz faced the strong Danish & Canadian combination Hougaard/Laplante in their first and Harris/Busby in their second match. Though lost both games at the end it’s remarkable that Straessle was able to catch 7 points in the second squash game playing the former squash pro Busby. After two victories in the loser’s draw Hampl/Schäfer finished 5th.

Engler/Ladner won 50% of their 4 matches in Men B doubles. One reason why Ladner thinks he was more successful in playing card games than in Racketlon this weekend was the fact that they lost their close quarterfinal match.

Nr. 4 seeded Hampl faced a tough cookie in the first round in Men A: Duncan Stahl, the current British champ and Nr. 9 in the world Ranking was ready for a big fight. It was probably one of the longest matches in the whole tournament. Especially in tennis they had incredible rallies. With 21:19 in tennis and +4 in total Hampl “the machine” was very happy after 2.5 hours.

Schaefer, the current Swiss Champ, swore the whole week like a trooper about the luck of the draw. Daniel Busby was for sure not his favorite first round opponent as they met two weeks ago in Riga where Busby was clearly the better player and finally won the match by a difference of 35 points before going on to celebrate his first victory of an IWT tournament. And again it started very similar when Busby won table tennis to 9. But the game is not over until the fat lady sings and Schaefer came back with a very strong performance in Badminton. The mission impossible was fulfilled after a 21:5 in Tennis.

Adamson for Hampl as well as Jaksland for Schaefer were both too strong in the quarter finals and avoided a Swiss appearance in the semi-final. With the 5th and 6th place both have to be happy as it was a strong Elite draw with many good players. For Schaefer it was unbelievable that he succeeded in getting his revenge over 3 players in one tournament.

As Lorenz lost all his double and mixed matches on Friday he destroyed his Men B first round opponent Klement with +37 on Saturday morning. Also in the second round “Päddy” won table tennis, Badminton and Squash and could have left his tennis racket at home. Unfortunately the Austrian Stoisser was too strong in the semi-final and Lorenz had to be satisfied with his 3rd place. Standing always on the podium at the end of a B tournament it’s hard to understand why Lorenz still has to wait for his first well-deserved Men A WC.

Straessle “our youngster” had a very close semi-final match in B and he was missing only a couple of points to reach the final. As he planned to go out the whole Saturday night he didn’t want to play the small Swiss final on Sunday morning which was probably the right decision.

After losing two matches in a row Ladner had a very successful rainy Sunday and beat number one seeded “happy face 2” Genzel and Klement.

In Men C Engler had a very intense last game facing Teuber, a Badminton god. Engler was very proud about his single point he made in the second discipline and of the end result of +3.

Last but not least David Hillman has won the Men D. The Scotsman who lives in Zürich had a great fight with Feller and won with 1 single point at the end.

In +55, the Round Robin saw the clear victory of Graham King in front of Lessard coming from Canada.

All results are online on

Additionally, King did everything to defend the Swiss title in beer pong. With his non beer drinking partner Fischer (“the sunshine”) he had to get rid of 2 liters of beer to come to the final. With Frick as substitute for Fischer the final was very tight. As there was only one cup left for both teams at the end they played something like the “Gummiarm” point. Unfortunately Hougaard/Paul made gold and not King/Frick. Maybe the beer pong masters Schürch/Hügli will come back next year to challenge the new champions. But still silver, very well done Mr. King!

Though there were many games in these three days there was enough time to enjoy the garden of the venue, having some delicious cold beers & pizza outside and some time for profound discussions. There was a common opinion that Schaefer needs to improve his card game skills dramatically. Engler, our piano teacher, has been punished the whole Friday evening in a nice Bavarian restaurant “Seppl” in Heidelberg where an old guy from last century tortured a detuned piano without making one single break. At least he has been partially compensated by the delicious meal.

Did I forget anyone? Ah of course, Lukas Spring: he arrived a little bit later on Friday evening as he didn’t play doubles this time. Though his navigation system didn’t want him to find the guesthouse he enjoyed the pretty lake and the near forest even more on the second day. After playing two great tournaments in a row Spring was less successful and could beat neither Schmutzer nor Laplante. Unfortunately he had to give up his Sunday matches due to an injury of his left foot. He solaced himself with a “Luki” shot in the famous shot bar “Shooter Stars” in Heidelberg while Schaefer found out that the Chuck Norris drink wasn’t tasty at all.

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