Danish domination when Racketlon Denmark hosted the Racketlon world

Despite mixed weather and a lot of changes between indoor and outdoor tennis, the FIR World Team and Double Championships was a big success with a total of 270 players from 14 different countries. The brilliant facilities of Rudersdal Racketlon in Birkerød, just North of Copenhagen, Denmark was the venue for the 75 team matches and 300 doubles matches from Thursday to Sunday. The home nation of Denmark expectedly came out on top in the number of titles and yet again prove themselves as the nation to beat. All results are now online on fir.tournamentsoftware.com
 


Denmark wins first world team champs title


Despite having never won the world team championship title, Denmark were huge favorites for the title
with the world numbers 1 and 2, Jesper Ratzer and Kasper Jønsson leading the team. The defending
European Champions made it to the final after defeating Switzerland and Canada. In the final Austria put up
a good fight, however losing by 16 points in the end. Sweden took the bronze after beating Canada, who
had made it to the semifinal after taking out the 3rd seeds of Great Britain. The recap of the final can be
seen here. The top 8 teams is qualified for the new Champions Division at the European Team Championships taking place in Austria. Since Canada cannot compete at the Euro Champs, the 9th place was ever so important. This was taken by France that eliminated Finland and Belgium.
For the first time ever any nation could play with as many amateur teams as they wished. 14 teams was
registered with Great Britain leading the way with three teams. Great Britain 2 won the title beating
Sweden 2 in the final. The bronze was taken by Austria 2 that outlasted Denmark 2 in the last match. In the
1/4-final they beat another Danish team, Denmark 3. This was the most dramatic match of the tournament,
which came down to the set of tennis between the second singles. Malte Thyregod needed 4 points for
Denmark to win with Austrian Matthias Heilbrunner being the better tennis player. At 3-3 Denmark had 7
match points, but Matthias overcame them all to take it into a gummiarm. Malte had the serve and went
for it, only to see it stopped by the top of the net. The top 6 teams (GB 2, Sweden 2, Denmark 2, Austria 2,
GB 4 and Denmark 3) joins Finland and Belgium for next year's Division 1.


German domination in the senior classes


Germany dominated the senior classes and took gold in both the +45 and +55. The +45-final was a drama
against the hosts from Denmark determined in the end by 5 points. Heike Voigt was the (wo)man of the
match winning 20 points for Germany. This was too much to overcome for Denmark that won the three
other matches by 3, 2 and 10 points. The +55 was equally close with the Germans taking a 4-point win over
Hungary. Peter Sakovics took a 2-point win for the Hungarians in the 1st singles over Joachim Gersdorf and
Tibor Karolyi an 8-point win in the 2nd singles over Antonio Zeoli, but it was enough for the Hungarians
after Leibig and Rühlicke took a 14-point win for the Germans in the double. 4 points was the difference in
the end.


Austria and Great Britain defend junior titles


Austria are traditional favorites in the U21 class with a very strong team. Their biggest opponents for the
title looked to be Denmark and Great Britain. Denmark could not make it really close against Austria in
group A, but after winning group B, Great Britain put up a big fight for the title. On the 1st single Leon
Griffiths took a 2-point win for the Brits, but Bettina Bugl brought back the difference with a 3-point win
over Hannah Boden on the girls single. It all came down to the very last set of tennis on the 2nd single
between Georg Stoisser and Alistair Prades, where the winner would bring the title to their country.
Stoisser held his nerve best and won the set 11-9. The U16 was the only team class continuing through to
Saturday. The Brits were big favorites for the title and did not disappoint. Switzerland took silver and
Hungary the bronze.


Ratzer´s big goal for 2017 still alive after defending two titles


The world number one and ever winning Dane, Jesper Ratzer´s big goal for 2017 is to win all four World
Championship titles. After getting it done in the team event, Jesper and Kasper Jønsson were massive
favorites for the title in the men elite double. No prisoners were taken and the Danes won the title without
even having to use their tennis rackets. The surprise of the tournament was Georg Stoisser and Christian
Austaller from Austria, who defeated 3rd seeds, Morten Jaksland/Marcus August Christiansen in the 1/4-
final and 2nd seeds Hougaard/Windischberger in the semifinal. No one expected the Austrians to be a
contender for the title, but the underdogs performed very well.
In the mixed it was harder work for Ratzer and his dream of four World Champs titles. In the semifinal his
partner, German Natalie Paul and him met the German/Swedish pairing of Amke Fischer/Stefan Adamsson.
A comanding lead of 19 points was heavily reduced after a great squash set from Fischer/Adamsson, which
was won 21-11. Paul/Ratzer then needed 13 points for the win, but were trailing all the way before taking
the spot in the final at 13-15. In the final the Swedish/Danish pairing of Lindholm/Jønsson was awaiting just
like two years ago in Poland. After three close first sports (21-17, 20-22, 21-19) Paul/Ratzer needed 18
points to win. After closing out 18-14, the final score was +8 for the first seeds.


Fair play in women elite


In the women elite final, Natalie Paul and Christine Seehofer met Amke Fischer and Martina Meissl. The
first seeds Paul/Seehofer took the title, but not after a tough match. The easier group might have helped
Paul/Seehofer tobe more rested and better prepared. After a lot of confusion regards to the determination
of group B, where three pairs had the same number of wins, the preparations for the bronze match got
completely ruined. And in the end Izzy Tyrrell and Lilian Druve offered to share the 3rd place instead of
gaining an advantage of the situation. A very fair and sporting gesture by the two veterans, which was
accepted also by the Tournament Director and FIR Delegate.


Junior classes dominated by Austria and Great Britain


The four junior classes was dominated by two of the biggest nations in racketlon, Great Britain and Austria.
The Austrians took gold in girls U21 with an expected win to Bugl/Seehofer, the mixed U21 World
Champions are brother and sister, Piers and Hannah Boden from Great Britain. There was also British gold
in juniors U16 for David Bennett and Luke Griffiths while the U21 doubles was won by the Danish/Austrian
pairing of Marcus Christiansen and Georg Stoisser.


Denmark dominates the senior classes


The most prestigious senior class, the +45 doubles was won by local heroes, Jack Broe Larsen and Emil
Bergander in a closely contested final against the Canadian/New Zealand couple of Frederic Damours and
Jason Granville. Bergander/Larsen held a comfortable lead going into tennis, but Damours/Granville were
mounting their comeback. Eventually the Danes closed the match at 6-13 to become World Champions. It
was also Danish gold in the +60 class as former single World Champion in this class, Graham Cain had
teamed up with Steen Hesselbjerg to take another title for Denmark. The +55 was expectedly won by
Joachim Gersdorf and Antonio Zeoli after a comfortable +22 win in the final over the Hungarian pair
Sakovics/Karolyi. The seniors mixed +45 was yet another title for Denmark and for Emil Bergander, who had
teamed up with Izzy Tyrrell. They overcame the finalists from Denmark Allan Kristiansen and Pernille Skjøt.
The Danish pairing are experts in close matches. Last year at the Nordix Racket Games, they won the mixed
B after three win of 1 point and at the World Champs they this time started out with a gummiarm-win in
the first round, then a +3 in the 1/4-final and a +2 in the semifinal. In the final they couldn't keep it close
and Bergander/Tyrrell won by +19.


Lots of excitement in the lower classes


The Men B/C double was the championships biggest draw with no less than 52 pairs fighting for the title,
amongst these, a lot of strong pairs, that could have played in the elite draw. There were a big number of
very close matches including a +1 win in the 1/8-final for the eventual winners, Schmutzer/Schöpf from
Austria over Brenøe-Jensen and Hansen from Denmark. The outcome of the four 1/4-finals were a
gummiarm, a +2, a +10 and another +2. In the end Schmutzer/Schöpf took the win in the final against
Penttinen/Välimäki by +6.

The D/E for the beginners was won by Tom Van Den Brock and Sébastian Vandenabeele. Quite impressive
given how late the Belgians closed the beer truck every night. The women B was won by Esther
Dübendorfer and Adeline Kilchenmann from Switzerland while the second largest draw of the tournament,
the mixed B was won by the Canadians Erik Lee Roberts and Patrick Laplante.


Back in 2017 under different circumstances


Following the World Champs in Birkerød, there will not be a tournament returning to the venue in 2017.
Racketlon Denmark has decided to take one year off due to an expected lower number of entries following
such a big event. (Watch the atmosphere video on facebook here)

Instead the Danish license will be used on a new and more exotic tournament. Club La
Santa at Lanzarote is a Danish owned sports resort, the biggest and best sports vacation resort in the world.
The World Tour will go to the Canary Islands in the end of March and Tournament Director, Kresten
Hougaard promises that it´ll be a gem on the 2017 World Tour. Look forward to a very social event with side tournaments in the padel tennis, beach tennis, beach volley and other sports for the people coming before
the tournament along with hotel, a gala dinner and a players party, all on site. Look for the information to
be posted soon.


Kresten Hougaard
Tournament Director
FIR President