(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Family wins in Orleans
Date: 4/4/2022 12:54 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The Orleans Masters week concluded yesterday with five different nations winning titles. The three European victories have a family feel to them that brought about smiles for all.

Toma Junior Popov retains title
The older Popov brother came into this year’s tournament as the reigning champion. There was a strong French showing in the men’s singles category and after some strong battles, his younger brother eye-catchingly took down the number one seed Sai Praneeth to set up a brotherly semifinal. 

The two faced off for the first time in the French National Championships earlier this year, Christo took that one in three. But this time there was no stopping the physical game of Toma Junior, who won 15-21. 21-11, 21-13, he was determined to prove that this was his tournament.

Their father and BEC Coach of the Year Nominee, Toma Popov, was once again unable to watch his two sons compete on court. Toma Junior Popov afterwards said that his brother will ‘be fighting with him in the final’ as he faced India’s Mithun Manjunath. 

Can anyone defeat Toma Junior Popov in a final? The young Frenchman continued his incredible 12-final undefeated run with a 21-11, 21-19 victory. 

Stoevas strike again
The famous sibling duo of Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva continue their strong form into 2022 with another title victory, after also winning the Swiss Open.
It was a neat and tidy week for them in France, where they also spend time training with their club. They needed less than three hours of court time in total to lift the Orleans Master title, as they did in 2015 and 2018. 

As was the case in Switzerland, the sisters faced German opponents in the final. This time Stine Kuespert/ Emma Moszczynski were unable to match them, 21-15, 21-14.

Jille/ Van Der Lecq win first World Tour title
Dutch duo Ruben Jille/ Ties Van Der Lecq showed a glimpse of their form this year with a strong win over the Popov brothers at the German Open and pushed the World bronze medallists, Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen to three at the All England. 

Last week, they were able to put this all together towards a big title win. Three out of their four matches went the distance, with them finishing strongly. The fifth match, the final, was unfortunately not played following a walkover from Malaysians Junaidi Arif/ Muhammad Haikal. 

Ruben Jille’s sister, Debora Jille, playing with Cheryl Seinen, was coming into the tournament in strong form. However, had to support her brother from the sidelines. 

As Nietzsche once wrote – ‘In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony’. 

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