Danish and German domination at the German Open

A classic milestone in the FIR International Tour, the german Open took place once again in Nussloch Racket Center. Due to the upcoming Team & Doubles World Champs, the attendance was limited compared to previous years, but the quality of the event and its winners were not to be denied. Top players in Elite categories, a perfectly held schedule and a really pleasant environment (clay courts, places to camp, small pool...) make the German Open an event not to miss next year! All results now online on fir.tournamentsoftware.com

 

No surprise in the Men's Elite Draw with a Kasper Jonsson showdown

For once entering a tournament where Ratzer was not present, the actual n°2 Kasper Jonsson showed once again that apart from one exception, he is above the rest of the field of Elite players. Even though his draw was a tough one, only the previous World Champion Stefan Adamsson could bring him to tennis in a beautiful semi-final, finally ending on a 9pt difference. Then he showed all his class in a one-sided final where he clinched his (only !) 3rd title, a record unworthy of his talent !

In the bottom half of the draw, the danes also dominated with a tense semi-final between seeds 2 and 3, ending with Kresten Hougaard's accession to the final which proved to be too hard an ordeal. Morten Jaksland demonstrated some good improvement once again but as foreseen, that proved insufficient to snatch third place from Adamsson.

 

German domination in the Women's Draw

Even though quite small, the Women's draw proved thrilling with fantastic matches of high level into the Final Four. Whereas Silke Altmann, green as ever, ousted top seed Lilian Druve in a big fight, Amke Fisher came on top after a crazy battle against Natalie Paul. Though the whole match was enjoyable, the crowd went wild for a thrilling tennis where Natalie saved 3 match points to draw things equal at the end. As always, the outcome was decided by a gummiarm point which deserved its name when Natalie played perfectly, only to finish off the point with an overhead ending 3 meters too long.

It was then to be an all-german final, and Silke proved there that even if she competes less today than she used to, she can still beat (almost) all the top girls. We expect her to come to the World Champs in Fürth at the end of the year, although her ranking will require her to ask a (well deserved) wild card to play Elite.

The 3rd place match was the occasion for Natalie Paul to erase the rough semi-final and end on a great note after defeating Swedish legend Lilian Druve by 8 points.

 

Big double matches in small draws

Men Doubles was decided at the end of a spectacular tennis game and in the end, the winners were the danish pair mixing experience (Jack Broe Larsen) and youth (Morten Jaksland). They overcame the newly formed but extremely efficient pair of Kresten Hougaard and the Canadian Patrick Junior Laplante already in Europe and ready for the Team World Champs. Jonsson and Junillon completed the podium by taking third place.

In Women Doubles, it was only a round robin of 4, but that did not prevent a great decisive match between Amke Fischer and Martina Meißl who triumphed by only 2 points against Natalie Paul and Silke Altmann.

Third were Ina Christoffer and Mirianda Frick winning shortly against promising newcomers Bruzgina and Seidensticker.

In the Mixed, it was without surprise that Stefan Adamsson and Amke Fischer took the first spot in front of Silke Altmann and Duncan Stahl.

In Men B doubles, the winning pair Schmutzer/Stoisser were stronger than any other team and they never were in any kind of danger throughout the tournament ! In the final, they defeated Genzel/Schlepphorst, the best of the other part of the draw.

Mixed-B saw the victories of locals Anita Voelkel and Jörg Kanonberg.

 

Revelations in the women B-draw and confirmations in the Male lower categories

The women B-category was especially intriguing with a final confrontation between two newcomers : Anastasiya Bruzgina and Lisa Seidensticker. Both showed great skills in their personal top sports as well as a good level in at least one other. Ina Christoffer from Germany completes a podium full of promises.

In Men B, Georg Stoisser was on demonstration, showing that his study/training balance is paying off. He is clearly now a strong Elite player, and will go very high if he keeps this rhythm, A-players be warned. Two tennis players complete the podium: Jörg Kanonenberg and Patrick Lorenz (still waiting to play a deserved A-draw).

In Men C, it was no surprise to see Thorsten Kuntz on top as he is now ready to play in B. To triumph, he had to overcome Slovakian Milos Kucecka and fellow countryman Steffen Neumann in the final.

In a small round robin of 4 in Men D, the scot David Hillman finished first in front of Gerald Seezer and Alexander Feller. Last of the group, but not the least attraction of the tournament, Evandro Paradela, a young Brazilian who happened to be in Europe at the time for a conference, enjoyed himself immensely and vowed to be back !

 

Seniors galore!

Though the number of total registrations was on the decline, it was not the case in Male Seniors categories !

In the Men's +45, once Jason Granville had forfeited due to a last minute injury, there was no one to contest Jack Broe Larsen's domination, not even his victim in the final Ulrich Schlepphorst.

In Men's +55, the Round Robin saw the clear victory of the Swiss Graham King in front of Dany Lessard, come from Canada.

In Men's +65, the Czech Zdenek Devaty was in another galaxy compared to the rest of the field, leaving nothing to his opponents lest the battle for the silver medal.

There were just 3 teams registered in the Senior's doubles category, but victory there was attributed to the German team consisting of Marco Genzel and Joachim Gersdorf after a big struggle to defeat compatriots Kleiber and Schlepphorst.

 

High quality organization by inexperienced interns

The German Open in Nussloch is also a unique event because it is organized each year by a small team of young interns and volunteers who never heard of the sport before. Their enthusiasm and energy helps them to overcome their lack of knowledge in the field, and the organization was of great quality. The tournament will still be there next year for sure... but if it is to grow or host a special event, that would make things even harder for the next inexperienced team ! Food for thought....

 

Cédric Junillon
FIR Delegate