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.



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