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Stormy Swiss in stormy Malta

Traditionally, the IWT Malta Open is the perfect weekend for an extended racketlon weekend to catch the last sunrays and heat before winter. This year, on the contrary, the temperature and the rain didn’t invite the players to cool down after their matches in the pool of the venue.

 

Nevertheless, the stormy atypical Maltese weather wasn’t able to have a negative impact on the atmosphere. The small Swiss delegation was on fire: 8 players took 12 medals by storm!

 

Even a complete set of medals was won by Benjamin Gränicher, who paired up with Dan Busby (GB) in the Men’s Doubles A (gold) and Nicole Eisler in the Mixed Doubles A (silver). In the Men‘s Elite draw he successfully outplayed organiser Duncan Stahl (GB) with a comfortble +23 before tennis! Unfortunately, Morten Jaksland (DEN) was too strong in the semi finals.

 

Nicole Eisler also won 3 medals. Next to the mixed silver success she won another silver in the Women’s Doubles A together with youngster Dara Ladner. In the Women‘s Elite, Eisler had to chance to face former World Champion and still unbeatable Zuzana Kubanova (CZ). Eisler was happy with a bronze medal, though.

 

Nicolas Lenggenhager was the clear dominator of both the B Men’s Doubles and the Mixed Doubles classes. He was twice on the top of the podium; once with Natalia Prado (F) and once with his team mate from RC Léman Mounir Benheddi.

 

Patrick Bürgi took home another (bronze) medal in the same category alongside Roland Pichler (AUT). Bürgi only closely missed the podium ending 4th in the Men’s B draw. 

 

Graham King as well ended with the unappreciative rank 4 in the Seniors +40.

 

Julian Meister (according to his name “Champion“) accomplished the good Swiss result with winning 2 bronze medals. (Men’s C and Men’s C Doubles).

 

Next year, the weather is the only aspect that can be improved. As it will be 3 weeks earlier the chances for another great racketlon experience are high. Check out the new international tour plan!

 

Nicole Eisler

Gränicher, Peter und Schnell siegen in Frauenfeld

Mit seinem vierten Titel in Serie auf der Night Tour untermauert Beni Gränicher seinen Führungsanspruch im Schweizer Racketlon. Im Final der beiden Topgesetzten genügten ihm fünf Punkte im Tennis, um den früheren Seriensieger Patrick Lorenz auf den zweiten Platz zu verweisen. Im kleinen Final duellierten sich Routinier Christian Schäfer und Youngster Yannic Andrey. Letzterer hat im Oktober erstmals den Sprung in die Top Ten des Rankings geschafft. Der Sieg und somit Platz drei ging jedoch deutlich an Schäfer. 

Zahlreiche enge Spiele und einige Überraschungen gab es in der Kategorie B. Der ungesetzte Philipp Peter eliminierte der Reihe nach Leonard Ladner, Roland Schmid (Turnier-Nr.1) und im Final Stefan Imhof (Turnier-Nr.2). Damit bewegt sich Peter weiter in Richtung Top Twenty. Im kleinen Final musste Schmid gegen Léon Mamié verletzungshalber und nach dem Squash in Führung liegend aufgeben.

Viel Frauenpower war in der Kategorie C angesagt. Einzig Gabriel Schnell konnte den Durchmarsch von Tanja Omlin verhindern und sich so über den Turniersieg freuen. Dank einem Forfait-Sieg gegen Dara Ladner ging Bronze an Marc-André Rauber.

Beat Ladner

Night Tour à Lausanne

Co-organisé par le RC Léman, le 7èmeSwiss Racketlon Night Tour 2018 s’est déroulé à Lausanne (Green Club Romanel) le samedi 29 septembre. Une magnifique journée avec du bon niveau de jeu et de la bonne humeur ! Voici le résumé des résultats :

 

Tableau A – Hommes

Dans une poule de 4 joueurs, c’est Nico Hobi qui a tiré son épingle du jeu en remportant tous ses matchs ! Les 3 autres joueurs (Magnus Ekstrand, Nicolas Lenggenhager et Christian Schäfer) ont quant à eux chacun remporté une rencontre. Le classement s’est donc déterminé aux points : Nicolas Lenggenhager termine 2ème(+13), Christian Schäfer est 3ème(+3) et Magnus Ekstrand 4ème(-38)

 

Tableau B – Hommes 

Dans un tableau B orphelin de sa tête de série n°1, c’est Julien Meister qui remporte le tournoi. Affrontant 3 spécialistes du tennis lors de ces 3 tours, il a réussi à imposer sa loi avant de sortir sa raquette du tennis ! Pour compléter le podium, Aymeric Galan (2ème) et Florian Burnand  (3ème) ont fait honneur à leur Wild-Card. Les deux joueurs du RC Léman ont montré qu’ils étaient capables de battre des habitués du tableau B et qu’ils méritaient leur place dans cette catégorie.

 

Tableau C - Hommes

Grâce à un super parcours, Benoît Hohl remporte le tournoi. Il a été poussé seulement deux fois au tennis, où il devait marquer 7 points (au 1ertour) puis 6 points (en finale). La 2èmeplace revient à Torne Tänzer qui atteint la finale en gagnant 2 matchs au bout du suspense (+1 en quart et +2 en demi). Jan Flury remporte le bronze. 

 

Tableau D – Hommes 

Ryan Humbert remporte le tableau D après une victoire en finale face à Catherine Werlen. Thomas Glaus prend la 3èmeplace au dépend d’Emilie Roux.

 

Tableau Dames 

Gaëlle Pernoux gagne le tournoi en jouant notamment un très bon tennis sous pression en finale en laissant son adversaire Ulyana Melnychuk à seulement 9 points et remporte la finale avec un bonus de 3 points. Sonia Bornand complète le podium.

 

Merci à tous les joueurs !

 

Toutes les news et photos du tournoi sur la page Facebook du RC Léman.

 

Valentin Henin

To Hell(sinki) and Back

Switzerland emerged as one of the most successful nations at the 2018 Finnish Open, held on 14-16 September this year. At least if you judge it by the total number of medals per participant!

 

Somewhat downscale from the vast magnitude of the World Championships in Zurich only a few weeks ago, the Swiss Dynamic Duo trekked off towards the North Pole to take on the Scandinavian Vikings at the game they invented - our beloved Racketlon!

 

Held at a very cosy new venue in Helsinki, only a short skip from the tournament hotel, the tournament began very leisurely well after a nice breakfast, with the President of the Finnish Racketlon Association having taken a promotion to taxi-driver, taking personal command of the shuttle service between the hotel and the venue. 

 

Friday was, as usual, doubles day, and Esther Dübendorfer wasted no time in going straight into attack mode with her Swedish partner Anna-Klara Ahlmer (Women‘s Doubles) and Finn Luka Penttinen (Mixed Doubles), tearing apart all oppostion with the exception of the Finnish mixed doubles pair (and later winners) Anna Wall and Henrik Mustonen (a PSA Top-40 ranked professional squash player, so no disgrace there, although somehow, they managed to lose table tennis as well as squash...). 

 

Graham King paired up with his fellow cyborg Heli Mäkelä (both wear embedded sensors on their upper arm), but despite a valiant performance, were unable to exterminate anyone. Nevertheless, they must have made a strong impression in their first match, with the second opponents obviously terrified into submission, not even daring to show up for battle.

 

Singles followed the next day. Esther had a flurry of one-sided group matches (over 50% of them being single-digit victories, one way or the other), with the bronze playoff match against a Women’s Top-10 ranked player going the same way too. Nevertheless, she can surely be very content with her impressive haul of gold and bronze in a Women‘s Elite IWT event! 

 

Graham very sensibly only played Seniors events, thereby avoiding the dreaded 08:00 kick-off. Not that this helped him too much in the +55 event, being matched against strong Finns who were able to neutralise the advantage he sometimes enjoys at table tennis, getting off to early leads against him. Despite courageous efforts at badminton and crushing the opposition at squash, Graham preserved his 100% record of never having got to 21 first in a tennis match in his entire Racketlon career, thereby sealing his fate.

 

Counter-intuitively, +50 went much better for Graham in his Round Robin group. After dismissing his first two opponents (well, except for in tennis...), the stage was set for the final. Having demolished his Finnish opponent, Kimmo Pennanen, in the Latvian Open  before even starting Badminton (!) only just over a month ago, excitement was high. However, after winning table tennis and fighting to a career-best of 19-21 against him in badminton, the mirage of gold, shimmering in the distance, gradually vapourised in the heat, as lefty Kimo unleashed a nonstop series of thumped forehands and ridiculous drops from the back on a dead squash court, leaving Graham shaking his head in frustration (though it is worth noting that his shirts stayed intact). But, Silver is OK too.

 

One of the highlights of the tournaments was to see Henrik Mustonen, the PSA squash player, in action. From his vantage point in the umpire’s chair, Graham was continually gobsmacked (though not surprised) to see very worthy opponents defeated 21-0 and 21-1, and even the legendary European Champion, Rav Rykovski, losing 14 points in a row. Given he is also strong in badminton (beating Marko Välimäki) and can play decent table tennis and tennis, one can only muse how he would fare in a World Championships, where he would also neutralise the very best players‘ squash advantages.

 

Otherwise, a largely very well organised tournament in a pleasant, compact, quality venue, with a comfortable hotel and lots of friendly Finns (and other nations). Worth the trip next year, if it fits in your schedule.

 

Graham King

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Aktuelle Rankings (1. Oktober 2018)

Herren Einzel
1. Benjamin Gränicher
2. Cédric Junillon
3. Nico Hobi
4. Patrick Lorenz
5. Olaf Huber
6. Christian Schäfer
7. Thomas Wegmann
8. Yannic Andrey
9. Michael Strässle
10. André Bandi

Damen Einzel
1. Nicole Eisler
2. Esther Dübendorfer
3. Corina Christener

Junioren U18
1. Yannic Andrey
2. Léon Mamié
3. Leonard Ladner

Die gesamten Rankings findet ihr hier.

Veranstaltungskalender 2018

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