Knoblauch and Suter-Erath embrace after the European Championships final in 2018 (credit Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
Knoblauch comes through all European thriller
Date: 9/21/2019 10:01 AM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

A repeat of the European Championships women’s singles final saw another incredible contest between two of the best WH1 players in Thailand today.

There is a period in the career of two individuals where people can look back and say those were the highlights of a particular rivalry. If we are lucky, as badminton fans, we may witness more than one of these contests. We have been lucky so many times when Lin Dan met Lee Chong Wei for instance.

In terms of European wheelchair badminton two rivalries spring to mind. The first, Thomas Wandschneider (GER) versus David Toupe (FRA) which has given us so many great encounters in WH1 men’s singles over the years, and a great reminder of the other example, today we saw the European Champion Valeska Knoblauch of Germany once again up against Switzerland’s bronze medallist from last month’s World Championships, Karin Suter-Erath.

Who can forget the hour long European final, which ended when both players saved match points and finally the German, who celebrates her twenty-ninth birthday this Sunday, overcame her nerves to clinch the title 28-26 in the third game.

Read: Poland and Slovenia to host European Championships

"I am excited to play against Satomi"

We were not disappointed today, the 21-12, 16-21, 21-18 was fair in the circumstances as both women battled the conditions as well as each other. Knoblauch had this to say after the game:

- I feel so happy about the win against Karin, it was a tough game and I’m delighted with the result.

- It was very tricky due to the conditions inside the hall. I started with the help of the drift and felt comfortable and confident. I couldn’t play the style I wanted to in the second game and Karin put a lot of pressure on me, said the German.

Tomorrow in the final she takes on Japan’s Sarina Satomi, although World Champion, she is an opponent that the German is very capable of beating. They last met at the Irish International in June, when Satomi took the final 21-18, 21-19. I’m sure a gold medal this week would be the birthday present Knoblauch is really hoping for.

- I’m happy, I’m in the final. I feel relaxed about it at the moment. I hope to play my best, but I’m excited to play Satomi as she played a great tournament in Basel last month against very strong opponents. Hopefully I can play with no pressure on me, she added.

Day five Thailand Para-Badminton International 2019 results can be found on tournament software here

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