You can say that Germany’s Marc Zwiebler is a real comeback man. The 2012 European men’s singles champion has a long history of clawing his way out of seemingly impossible holes – on- but also off-court. Zwiebler, who had long struggled with injuries, went back on court today at the Bitburger Open in Saarbrücken.
“I still have some pain and I'm not in a great shape, but I do miss competing in tournaments”, the world number 17 said before his opening match at the 120.000 Dollars tournament against Joshua Magee of Ireland. And the German number one shuttler got off to a good start as he beat Magee 21-15, 21-13 in just 29 minutes of play. Zwiebler, who reached the Bitburger Open final in 2013 and 2014, will face England’s Toby Penty in tomorrow’s second round.
Vittinghus through to the second round
Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus eased into the second round with a straight games win over Edwin Ekring of Uganda. The Bitburger Open has always been a happy hunting ground for Vittinghus as he won the tournament in 2011 and reached the runner-up spot in 2010, only losing to current world champion Chen Long of China in three games.
“I got off to a good start here in Saarbrücken for the Bitburger Open! Won 21-12 21-7 in 24 minutes against Ekiring. Edwin has had a good year so far, so I was expecting a tougher start, but I controlled the match well and never really let him into his groove. Tomorrow I'll be up against Misha Zilberman of Israel in the second round”, wrote Vittinghus via Facebook
Rajiv Ouseph advanced to the second round by beating Ville Lång in two straight games 21-14, 21-6. Ouseph finds himself in the same half of the draw as world number five and top seed Chou Tien Chen, who also got off to a winning start on Tuesday. The Taiwan shuttler, who is the defending champion in Germany, beat local shuttler Alexander Roovers 21-19, 21-19.
England’s Chris and Gabby Adcock will aim to underline their top-seeded billing by claiming their first Bitburger Open title in Germany this week.
The world number seven pair were runners-up in the 2013 event and reached the semi-finals last year. The Adcocks, Yonex French Open semi-finalists, have been afforded a bye into the second round and are seeded to meet Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto of Indonesia in the final, having beaten them at the recent Denmark Open.
Tournament hit by withdrawals
The tournament was hit by a few withdrawals earlier this week. The number one seed in the Saarlandhalle, world champion Carolina Marin has withdrawn before the tournament which started on Tuesday noon.
Also Germany’s best female shuttler Karin Schnaase pulled of the Bitburger Open out due to an injury she suffered at the Yonex Dutch Open a couple of weeks ago.
Watch all the live action from the Bitburger Open on their official website
for all results from Saarbrücken.
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photos (LIVE) by Sven Heise.