The I.B.B. Turkish International kicks off in Istanbul tomorrow and offers up an opportunity for some of Turkey's emerging youngsters to make a name for themselves on home soil.
Men’s doubles represents the best opportunity for Turkey with Vural & Zorlu (pictured) looking like a potentially good partnership moving forward after an excellent showing at the European Games in Baku earlier in the summer.
The Turks are top seeds for the men’s doubles but will be stiffly tested as early as the second round against the Slovenian pair Roj and his vastly experienced partner Iztok Utrosa.
The women’s doubles also represents a good opportunity for the home nation to bag a podium spot as second seeds Inal & Yavuz have already tasted victory at this level with victory in Morocco in 2014.
The pick of the opening round women’s doubles matches is clearly the battle between Denmark & Russia with Finne-Ipsen/Villadsen taking on Bikik/Konendrovskaja. The winning pair would be a likely favourite to take the gold out of Turkey.
Zilbermann & Tolmoff the ones to beat in singles
After returning from a headline making trip to the World Championships in Jakarta, Israel’s Misha Zilbermann will be looking to get back to normal away from the glare of the media and continue his quest for Olympic qualification.
The Israeli is the clear favourite with Yuhan Tan looking like the nearest challenger to Zilberman. The Belgian will be hoping to have shaken off a bout of food poisoning from the worlds in Jakarta to really get his season off to a flying start. Austria’s Mathias Almer and Slovenia’s Iztok Utrosa will be looking to capitalize in any mistakes from the top seeded Israeli and Belgian.
Kati Tolmoff will represent Europe's best chance in the women’s singles with quality Indian talent making the trip to Istanbul. Nestled on the Estonians side of the draw is Dane Julie Finn-Ipsen and the pair are scheduled to meet at quarter final stage.
Hungary’s Laura Sarosi will have to likely get passed two Indians if she is to make the final but she certainly has the pedigree to do so at this level.
Sarosi will also team up with Gergely Krausz as the top seeds in the mixed doubles and will look to build on the experience gained from the European Games in Baku where, in hindsight, losing out to silver and bronze medal winning pairs represented a decent games for the Hungarians.
For a full list of the draws for the Turkish International click here
Article and image by Mark Phelan