There is the old saying in sport that you make your luck and that certainly rings true for French pair Lefel and Labar after their dramatic comeback in yesterday’s semi-final. Today however the French relied on a new found sense of confidence as they dominated their Thai opponents to lift their first Grand Prix title as a pair at the Yonex Dutch Open.
It was an uncustomary position for the French to be in today while their well-travelled opponents, Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam of Thailand, have been there, done that and bought all the T shirts at Grand Prix level.
The French were unfazed by the experience and took the opening game 21-10 without ever being troubled by Sudket and Saralee. The second game was always going to be different and as expected it was the Thai pair that raced into 11-5 and 16-12 lead and the French could have been forgiven for settling for a third game.
Buoyed by their comeback in the semi-final the French knew they could do the same again and slowly but surely they reeled in their opponents to tie the game up at 16-16. The French now had the momentum and pushed home to win in two 21-18.
“This is a great feeling to win this our first Grand Prix as a pair” said Emilie Lefel after the game.
“We had a plan and a tactic and we just forced ourselves to stick with it even when we were behind in the second game” said Labar “This has been a good tournament for me in the past so it is so nice to come back again and win here”
Gilmour continues to build towards Rio
Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour continued on her merry way towards the Rio Olympic Games winning her second title in three weeks this afternoon at the Dutch Open. The Scottish and GB number 1 has been enjoying her time back mixing it and challenge and Grand Prix level and today in Almere Germany’s Karin Schnasse was no match for the Glasgow girl.
Schnasse had a very heavily strapped thigh in today’s final an injury she picked up in yesterday’s semi-final win over Line Kjaersfeldt and was lacking mobility throughout today’s final.
One Gilmour secured the open game it was just a matter of time before she lifted the Dutch Open GP title to that Prague Open title she won just two weeks ago. Gilmour cruised home 21-13 in the second games and was obviously delighted with her victory.
“I have played Karin so many times that we know each other so well. To win my second tournament in three weeks is a great feeling and its good just to step back sometimes out of the Super Series circus to gain some momentum” said Gilmour after her victory.
There was no such joy for Raul Must in the men’s singles final as the Estonian went down in two games to defending champion Ajay Jayaram of India.
Stoeva’s step up it up a notch in Almere.
There is no doubting the credentials of the Stoeva sisters of Bulgaria. Today they proved once again that with funding they could trouble the top 10 in the world after taking down defending champions and world number 9 pair Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in two straight games.
After a close opening game winning 22-20 the power of the Bulgarians came to the fore in the second game and the Dutch were just unable to respond to the pounding. Another tournament and another win for the Stoeva’s as they go from strength to strength in Almere.
“This is a fantastic feeling. To win at Grand Prix level is a big step for us and we knew our plan today against Selena and Eefje.” Said the Stoeva’s after their victory
In the men’s doubles final Koo and Tan from Malaysia were easy winners over Aatri and Reddy as the Indians begin to show signs of fatigue after spending the past months on the European circuit.
For all results from today’s final at the Dutch Open Click HERE
Article and image by Mark Phelan (Live in Almere)