IWT La Santa Open

Besides France and Great Britain, Switzerland was represented with the largest delegation in Lanzarote. A large part of the players has already arrived during the week to get used to the windy tennis and the other conditions in final training sessions or to prepare themselves optimally for the start of the tournament on Saturday with sauna sessions and osteophathy appointments.

Thanks to the mild temperatures and the sporting environment at the resort, the atmosphere was excellent. Or was it because of the participation record?

Although the international top elite was mostly missing, the tableaux were strong and balanced and offered some spectacle. Thanks to the exceptional location at Club La Santa, also some new faces found their way to Racketlon - for example the Swiss Alexander Kobler, who actually stayed in Lanzarote for marathon preparations.

The doubles and mixed categories started on Saturday with still a little bit wet outdoor tennis courts. Mixed B: Two of the three mixed teams with Swiss participation had to admit defeat already in the first round. Nicolas Champod (CH) and Flore Allègre (FR) won in their first round against an all Swiss team, but with their victory they won the first title with Swiss participation.

In the Senior Doubles category, the two table tennis giants Giovanni Gentile and Manfred Grab also secured the gold medal in the final against the French Matthieu Beurel-Diamant and Emeric Lardet (thanxs to a loud Swiss support?).

In the Women's Doubles category, both teams with Swiss participation had to admit defeat in the first round. Esther Dübendorfer (CH) with Laureline Tschanz as well as Amandine Souin (CH) with Aurélie Haurant could win the following placement matches.

In Men's Doubles B, none of the four teams could fight their way to the final. Giovanni and Manfred advanced to the quarterfinals, but then were defeated by the strong Swedes by 7 points.

In Mixed A there was another title to cheer for Switzerland: Nicolas Lenggenhager (CH) and Kirsten I. Kaptein won both their matches.

Animated by the good mood at the tournament, Sunday showed sunny from the beginning with the matches of the individual categories.

While the elite category of the ladies took place without Swiss participation and was won by the strong newcomer Flore Allègre (wildcard), in the ladies B both Esther Dübendorfer and Amandine Souin were able to play their way into the semi-finals. Due to injury, Esther unfortunately had to give the Swiss internal match for 3rd place w/o - but the third place for Amandine Souin and thus the next medal for Switzerland provided encouragement.

In the men's Elie A Nicolas Lenggenhager started the tournament as number 2 seed. With a win before tennis against the British Luke Barnes, he worked his way into the semi-finals, where he was defeated by Luke Griffiths. In the match for 3rd place, Nicolas and Sylvain Ternon played a top class game of badminton - unfortunately, this time the match went narrowly to the French friend. In the elite final the two favorites & brothers Leon and Luke Griffiths faced each other - and went already after squash in favor of Leon.

Also as the only Swiss Nicolas Champod competed in the 16-player tableaux of the men B. Motivated by his victory with partner Flore Allègre in the mixed, the table tennis specialist won the quarter singles final against number 1 seed David Bennet 21-3 / 21-19 / 11-21 / 12:18, proving that he is also at the top in the other disciplines.

The individual categories, which were briefly "interrupted" on Sunday because of the football World Championship final, entered the final phase on Sunday. While the mood of the French players was briefly subdued, the atmosphere at the Racketlon games of Sunday evening and Monday was unstoppably good. However, the good results of the previous days provided loud support especially for the Swiss games.

The biggest Swiss participation was in the men's C field: with Marc-André Rauber, Mounir Benheddi, Riccardo Raimo, Aswinn Yellepeddi, Alexander Kobler, Anthony Levasseurder (who this time competed under the French flag), Bruno Scherrer and the veteran Graham King, Switzerland provided 8 of the 23 players. In the Swiss quarter-final between Riccardo Raimo and Aswin Yellepeddi, Riccardo prevailed and entered his first men's C semi-final, but was then defeated by Isak Enström from Sweden. In the upper half of the tableau, Bruno Scherrer was able to fight his way to the final with close results. In an extremely windy tennis and under loud support he finally got his first tournament victory in the final against Isak Enström with 19 to 20 points in tennis.

Congratulations to all the Swiss medal winners! Time to relax and come back strong(er) again in 2023!

BS

 



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