SATUM Czech Open
22. April 2016
Last weekend in Prague at the SATUM Czech Open Esther und Florian Dübendorfer, Graham King, Christian Schäfer and Michael Strässle were the people on whom Swiss hopes were pinned.
Our Swiss number one, Schäfer, unfortunately wasn’t able to beat Alex Du Noyer from England in the first round of the elite category. But after a delicious plate of spaghetti at the best Italian restaurant in the whole city of Prague he couldn’t be stopped by local player Matej Dohnal in his first consolation match, despite going into badminton with a -19 deficit! Due to a lack of power after already seven other matches, Schäfer couldn’t really challenge the strong German badminton player Cornelius Rademacher in his last singles match.
Esther Dübendorfer, as the only woman Swiss player at the tournament, made it through as the winner of her round robin group to the finals (also played in a round robin) of the Women B draw. But local player Zuzana Severinova was a class of her own and won this category. The silver medal match against another Czech player, Lucie Hynkova, was a real thriller though. Dübendorfer had a great comeback in her main sport squash and played an amazing tennis match. In the end, there was only one single point missing for silver! But Dübendorfer had her revenge and won silver in the Women +45 category.
Graham King teamed up with Brit Neil Rayner to sweep aside all three opponent pairs and win gold in the Seniors +55 doubles. In seniors singles, he had his standard program playing in two categories, the +40 and +50 draws, and was very keen on getting back on the medal-winning track. Unfortunately, various strong eastern European players were as keen as he was on winning medals. In the end, King was happy with a 5th and a 6th place (and a fair bit of exhaustion, after 10 matches in three days!).
Newcomer Florian Dübendorfer could finally be convinced to take part in a tournament as well. Without any pressure and in a very relaxed manner he stepped out on court. You could see that he enjoyed it. He could even trump his self-declared goal to never lose the joy by winning a match!
After two victories in a row (in Antwerpen and Nussloch) the successful doubles pair Schäfer/Strässle had to prove themselves on the next level. In Men A elite doubles there is another level of opponents. They first had to face later winners Dickert/Windischberger in the 1st round. Schäfer/Strässle did very well! We have to admit that they did very well in the first half of the table tennis set. After that the Austrian pair demonstrated why they were number one seeded. Our Swiss pair was a bit unlucky in the next and very close match. After the match analysis they came to the conclusion that their nerves have to become stronger, especially at the end, in tennis. And they improved right away in the following match against the English pair, Barnes/Du Noyer. The situation was clear before tennis: The two English were not allowed to win more than 7 points. The pressure was enormous! And the nerves of the Swiss pair as strong as steel! Needless to say that they won with a final by plus one! :-)
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SRF-Ranking 1. Mai 2017 (Herren)
1. Patrick Lorenz
2. Olaf Huber
3. Christian Schäfer
4. Benjamin Hampl
5. Nico Hobi
6. Cédric Junillon
7. Michael Strässle
8. André Band
9. Claude Näscher
10. Thomas Wegmann
SRF-Ranking 1. Mai 2017 (Damen)
1. Nicole Eisler
2. Adeline Kilchenmann
3. Esther Dübendorfer
4. Sara Guebey
5. Dara Ladner