(Photo: René Lagerwaard)
Tabeling/ Piek dazzle the home crowd with another title
Date: 10/18/2022 9:16 AM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
Tabeling/ Piek add yet another medal to their already large collection of Dutch Open wins. The home crowd also got to celebrate another title for Dutch players, with Jille/ Seinen getting hold of the women’s doubles gold.

This year’s Dutch Open was a great tournament for the players competing on home soil. Despite several falling before reaching the quarterfinals, it had been 10 years since the Netherlands didn’t get hold of two titles in the same event — with Eric Pang winning the men’s singles and Selena Piek/ Iris Tabeling becoming the women’s doubles champions of the 2012 edition.

In fact, it was Selena Piek who would be winning the gold this year together with mixed doubles partner Robin Tabeling. The pair won the gold in 2019 and were the last year’s runner-ups, but their history in the Dutch Open is quite remarkable — Tabeling won silver with Jelle Maas in 2018, and Piek has a medals tally of a total of four with other partners.

Tabeling/ Piek do it again
Just like in 2019 when they faced Chris Adcock/ Gabby Adcock in the final, they’d have to defeat another English pair to become this year’s champions, Callum Hemming/ Jessica Pugh. Tabeling/ Piek had a one-day break after their Round of 16 opponents withdrew and they went into the quarterfinals to face Gregory Mairs/ Jenny Moore, England. They got past the challenge, winning in straight games and would do the same in the semifinals against Chinese Taipei’s Chiu Hsiang Chieh/ Lin Xiao Min. 

The 2022 European Championships bronze medallists had only faced Hemming/ Pugh once, back in 2012 in the European Mixed Team Championships. It was a similar result, with the Dutch pair taking the win in straight games, 21-17 21-12 in a fantastic closing win to the tournament.

A frustrating end to a great final
The previous match, the fourth of the five finals, was another much-awaited fight for the over 1,000 spectators of the Topsportcentrum Almere. After making a comeback in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, top seeds Chloe Birch/ Lauren Smith, England, got started again in the circuit as a pair after a ten-month break of not playing together.

The other contenders for the gold were second-seeded Debora Jille/ Cheryl Seinen, the Netherlands. The two pairs were giving a great performance but just as the English duo led 10-5, Smith twisted her ankle and had to take the tough decision of retiring from the match. Jille/ Seinen would therefore win the title, and Birch/ Smith would win silver — without a doubt, a medal to be proud of, having shown the other pairs that they’re just as strong as before their break.

Popov gets revenge 
The last time that Mads Christophersen, Denmark, and Christo Popov, France, had met on court was just four months ago in the Nantes International Challenge. Christophersen won the encounter and equalised their head-to-head 1-1. 

Both players had to defeat strong European contenders for the title and the rematch of the Nantes International final was bound to be a fierce fight for the gold and the lead of the head-to-head. The first game was a close, thrilling battle — the Dane had five game points but failed to take the win. The second game would see Popov taking the win by showing a stronger performance with a larger gap in terms of points, 21-10.

England’s Callum Hemming/ Ethan Van Leeuwen were the first European contenders to play the finals. The pair played against Chinese Taipei’s Chiu Hsiang Chieh/ Yang Ming-Tse who have won an impressive total of eight medals in the European Circuit just this year. Chiu/ Yang closed the match with a win in straight games, 21-16 21-13. 

The next stop in the European Circuit is the Czech Open, taking place from the 20th until the 23rd of October. You can follow all matches on
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