No Singles Medal for Austria’s Elite Men

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Austria’s hopes for a medal in the ECO SECURE Men A – Elite Einzel were crushed in the Quarter Final. Three RFA competitors had made it into the round of the final eight: Georg Stoisser, Lukas Windischberger and Michi Dickert. Styrian Stoisser had made the start the Centre Court Arena, and met with Slovenian Janez Makovec in a duel of two wildcard players. Makovec started strong, played agressively and almost without mistake during Table Tennis and won 21-5.But Stoisser fought back, triumphing with 21-9 in Badminton and, after 21-11 in Squash, went into the last discipline Tennis with a six-point lead. It was a heated exchange well worth seeing in a duel of two left-handed players. Stoisser kept wanting to take the initiative, but kept on making mistakes. At 7-15, Stoisser broke his racket after making a mistake. He kept going with an unknown racket – Makovec even warmed up with the Austrian for a few strokes, so he could get used to his new device. The audience was amazed at this show of fairness. Makovec in the lead at 19-13, both players only needed two points for a victory. The Slovene scored these right away and moved on to the semi finals.

Makovec’ opponent in the next round turned out to be British youngster Leon Griffiths. The Briton was not as much into fairness as the Slovene in his match against local and tournament favorite Lukas Windischberger. It was a match on a knife’s edge. With 21-10 and 21-19, the 17-year-old won the two first disciplines against his 25-year-old opponent. However, despite a great run in Squash, luck was turning for the player from Großenzersdorf. Deeply focused, Lukas played point for point, winning 21-0 and thus eight points in the lead ahead of the last discipline. Since the game between Stoisser and Makovec was still ongoing, there was a longer break which the Briton used to recover from his shock in Squash. Griffiths then quickly advanced by five points in Tennis. Many tight calls on both sides then culminated in the following situation at 13-6: Windischberger served a second serve, the umpire saw the ball in, while Griffiths saw the ball out, but kept playing just to stop the point within a few strokes, after all. The ball was overplayed, nevertheless the two players agreed on a second serve, which Windischberger mishit. After this, things went downhill for the Lower Austrian, who overall played too passively and made an usual amount of mistakes. Griffiths won 21-9 in Tennis and thus also won the second duel of the season against Windischberger.

At just 12 o’clock, Michi Dickert was preparing to beat the multiple vice World Champion Kasper Jønsson. “Table Tennis and Squash will be decisive”, the player from Klosterneuburg had prophesied. With one point behind from these two disciplines, and a 10-21 defeat in Badminton, the Dane only needed another 10 points in tennis for a victory. Dickert tried to be active on the hard-court of the Centre Court Arena, but made too many mistakes. Thus, the matchball symptomatically ended with a forehand mistake for the 36-year-old. Jønsson, who had made it clear that he had come in order to become European Champion, was thus set to meet the Pole Rav Rykowski in the semi final. Rykowski, who is the only player in the tournament not to have touched the tennis racket yet, threw the Dane Morten Jaksland (3) with +28 (TT: 21-14, BA: 21-11, SQ: 21-10) out of the tournament.

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