Who will become European Champion?
One Austrian player will play the Final of the ESS ENGINEERING SOFTWARE STEYR Women A – Elite competition at the 2. FIR European Racketlon Championships presented by Babolat. World-number-one Christine Seehofer and World-nuber-five Bettina Bugl (4) will face each other in the semi final on Sunday. The reigning World Champion could finish the match against Czech Zuzana Severinova after Squash. U21 Vize European Champion Bugl didn’t even have to play her quarter final. Christine’s older sister Elisabeth Seehofer injured herself on Saturday at a team’s match and had to pull out. Second seed Amke Fischer (GER) beat U21 European Champion Hannah Boden (GBR) +3 (TT: 16-21, BA: 21-14, SQ: 13-21, TE: 21-12). Doubles World Champion and Doubles European Champion Natalie Paul won by three points against third-seed Lieselot De Bleeckere (BEL). Paul: „My last two matches against Amke I lost by only one point. She is the favorite, but nothing is decided yet.” On Sunday from 9am the women’s semi finals will be live on our Facebook page and on laola1.tv.
Griffiths vs. Rykowski
In the first semi final of the ECO SECURE Men A – Elite Singles competition Kasper Jønsson (DEN) faced Rav Rykowski (POL). The Pole is playing only singles in Vienna and avoided to play the fourth discipline of tennis until the fourth round. He played strong against the Dane, after losing Table Tennis 10-21, he took Badminton 21-14 and Squash 21-7, giving him a ten-point-lead before tennis. A tough call against tennis-crack Jønsson. But it was the Pole who went for it. Rykowski took a lot of risk, scored point after point and won 12-10. Rykowski: “Now I just want to sleep. I am really happy about reaching the final!”.
The opponent of the 34-year-old is the only 17-year-old Leon Griffiths. The Briton won against Slovene wildcard Janez Makovec +15 (TT: 18-21, BA: 21-5, SQ: 25-23, TE: 7-7). “Winning in Squash was the key”, said Griffiths. Makovec, who dived after many balls, got himself a cut at 21-20 for the U21 European Champion. Makovec had to take a medical timeout. After that the Slowene managed to achieve two game points, but in the end it was the Briton who won the discipline of Squash 25-23. In tennis the fans saw the duel of the probably two best tennis players of the tournament. The Slowene threw everything at the Brit, but Griffiths did not make any mistakes, scoring the necessary seven points and reaching the final. After the match he celebrated with the British team on the court. If he can beat Rav in the final? “We will see tomorrow!”
No Singles Medal for Austria’s Elite Men
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. It was a match on a knife’s edge between Griffiths and Austrian Lukas Windischberger. 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.