Eisler wins 1st international title this year

Downs and ups up north

The Antwerp Open last weekend didn’t start very promising for the Swiss delegation. Two of the players who don’t want to be named missed their flight just by a hair’s breadth and had to drive all the way to Belgium and more than half of our small delegation didn’t make it to the 2nd round of their draws. Apart from Nicole Eisler, Graham King and Christoph Szedlak. Whereas Szedlak was stopped in the second round in the Men’s C category King made his way to the small final and missed bronze in the +45 category. Susan Rutschmann, Christian Schäfer, Lukas Spring and Oliver Bühler at least won matches towards the end of the tournament. Schäfer and Spring even had to face each other in a “final“  of the best loser draw, which was won by Schäfer.

But enough of the downside. It’s all relativ anyway! Losing by just one point can also mean winning silver! This is exactly what Eisler did with her partner Kirsten Kaptein (NED) in the Women’s A Doubles. Together with Dan Busby (GB) she also won another silver in Mixed Doubles, losing by only 5 points after a fine performance against local player Lieselot de Bleeckere and former vice world champion Kaspar Jonsson (DEN).

But, Eisler had her revenge against De Bleeckere in the Women‘s A final. Moreover, it was also a revenge for the final she lost to her, also in Antwerp, 2015. This year though, the Swiss was very motivated and didn’t feel any pressure at all, starting concentrated in table tennis. Although she lost it closely, she was still on fire to fight for every point in badminton. Going with -14 into squash everything was still possible and she knew that everything relied on a good squash result. Succeeding in reducing the lead, Eisler started the final tennis game very confidently, as she knew she was the more solid tennis player. The plan was to let De Bleeckere make the mistakes, which Eisler put nicely into practice. After two hours of an exciting match and a final result of +3, Eisler was very relieved to celebrate her 3rd title in total.

Slightly aside form the Antwerp Open IWT, the FIR World Tour Race trophies were also awarded to the players who racked up the most ranking points throughout all of the 2017’s FIR World Tour tournaments (i.e. excluding Challengers). Although the Austrians claimed both the open Men’s and Women’s categories, Switzerland almost repeated last year’s double-gold success in the Senior’s event, with Esther Dübendorfer again winning the Women’s 45+ trophy, and Graham King taking silver in the Men’s 45+ event.

Even though the venue was quite cold temperaturewise the organisers created a warm atmosphere for the players and let the tournament run smoothly. 

Nicole Eisler and Graham King

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Aktuelle Rankings (1. Dezember 2023)

Herren Einzel
1. Christian Schäfer
2. Oliver Bühler
3. Cédric Junillon
4. Nicolas Lenggenhager
5. Noah Mamié
6. Joshua Zeoli
7. Nico Hobi
8. André Bandi
9. Yannic Andrey
10. Léon Mamié

Damen Einzel
1. Nathalie Vogel
2. Nicole Eisler
3. Adeline Kilchenmann
4. Fabienne Dony
5. Gaëlle Wavre

Die gesamten Rankings findet ihr hier.