The 2014 Yonex Dutch Open kicked off this morning in Almere and it was the current European Junior Champion, Fabian Roth (pictured) of Germany, who attracted most of the attention as he came through qualification against non-European opposition.
Roth’s introduction into senior badminton has been slow and steady after reaching the heady heights of European junior champion in 2013 at the age of 17. In today’s games against Gadi of the Philippines and Alexander of Indonesia the German looked every bit a seasoned senior coming through a pair of really tough matches highlighting his mental resolve which has been a key part to his past junior success.
The young German now slots into the main draw where he will play Malaysian Chun Seang Tan in a rematch of their first round encounter at the recent Belgian International a tournament, like the Dutch Open, that used the new experimental 5 to 11 system. The Malaysian came out on top in three games in Belgium and all eyes will focus on Roth to see what he learned from that encounter.
It proved to be a good day all round for the German men in qualification as Patrick Kämnitz and Ari Trisnanto also advanced to the main draw with in emphatic style.
Schaller on comeback trail
Switzerland’s Nicole Schaller continued her comeback from a long standing hip injury but was made battle in what was the match of the day against Ukraine’s Yulia Kazarinova. The Swiss took the opening games and looked like cruising through to the main draw before the gutsy Ukrainian came right back to take the match into a deciding set.
The Swiss star has obviously been working hard on her physical shape as in the end the ability to keep going in the final game was the undoing of Kazarinova. Schaller now plays young Russian Evgeniya Kosetskaya in a match that will offer up drastically contrasting styles with the Swiss as slight favourite.
It was not all doom and gloom for Ukraine as their second women’s singles qualifier, Liza Zharkaya booked her main draw spot with two very comfortable qualification wins.
Germans only European light in mixed doubles qualification
Young German pairing of Mark Lamsfuss and Franziska Volkmann proved the only European mixed doubles success story on qualification in an afternoon session dominated by Indonesia. The Germans came through qualification in some style displaying nerves of steel in their final match after throwing away a two game leading to prevail in the final set against Putra & Dewi of Indonesia.
Lamsfuss and Volkmann now play fellow qualifiers Vivas & Francisco in round 1 and will fancy their chances of progressing to a mouth-watering tie against Russian veterans Durkin & Vislova or recent Czech International winners Nordh & Fabbeke of Sweden.
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Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Almere, The Netherlands)