Raul Must celebrating his win in this event back in 2017 (Credit: Mark Phelan)
Who will open up 2019 with a win?
Date: 1/9/2019 2:17 PM
Published by : Tom Hazlewood

The Estonian International gets underway this week in what is the first International Series event of the calendar year.

A number of top Badminton players will be heading to the Kalev Sports Hall from the 10th to the 13th of January as they look to get themselves off to the best possible start to the new year.

New Doubles pair looking to impress in front of their home fans

In the Women’s Doubles, the pair of Helina Ruutel and Kati-Kreet Marran will be looking to continue their new doubles partnership with a good performance here.

The pair only began playing with each other back in November and have already found themselves seeded 8th for the competition but are expecting a difficult start to the International Series event.

- Speaking to Badminton Europe, Ruutel said. In the Ladies doubles, we play against a strong Danish double pair in the first round, who reached the final in Italy. We are expecting a hard match but I think if we play well, we have a chance of beating them and then we’ll see how we go.

Ruutel admits there’s pressure to playing in front of her own crowd but is confident that it will drive her on to success throughout the tournament.

- In front of the home fans there is a bit of pressure to do well because everyone hopes that you win, but usually when I play here, I feel the support and see so many Badminton fans that it makes me feel good on court and gives me extra motivation. Ruutel told Badminton Europe.

With this being their first tournament of the new year,the pair are looking forward to the event and are hoping for a good result.

- After a little Christmas break it is always nice to start the year with an Estonian tournament. All the Estonian badminton players are preparing well for the tournament and I hope we can start the year with good result. Ruutel said. 

Other Estonian hopes

Estonia have a number of hopefuls that will be desperate to take the title in their home country.

In the Men’s singles Raul Must comes into the competition as the 3rd seed. The 31-year-old, who reached the Semi Finals of the Irish Open in his last competition back in November, will be looking to make an impact in front of his home crowd.

The countries biggest hopes however come in the Women’s Singles through Kristin Kuuba. She will enter the tournament in Tallinn as the top seed. Kuuba is currently ranked 72nd in the world, the highest rank of her career so far, so will be hoping that a win here can propel her even higher in the rankings to start off 2019. 

See the draw in full here

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