The second half of 2015 proved to be a turbulent few months for German number 1 Karin Schnaase. There was some light at the end of the tunnel winning the final tournament of 2015 in Turkey and today in Uppsala Schnaase (pictured) walked away with the bragging rights taking down German number 2 Olga Konon is a scintillating women’s singles final to start the new year as she finished the last.
Konon had got the better of Schnaase in their most recent outing in the German Bundesliga but today proved to be Schnaase’s day and deservedly so with the German number 1 producing one of her best performances in recent months proving that she is back to her best.
Schnaase’s all action style took her to the opening game and she even had match point in the second game but Konon’s new found never say die attitude got her three points in a row to win the second game 22-20 and take the match into a deciding set.
It was pretty much an all in performance from both girls in the final set with the level of badminton on display coming from the top drawer and Konon looked to have the measure of Schnaase leading 19-18. Again the work rate of Schnaase won her a point that really any other player would have seen drift denying Konon championship point and Schnaase held strong to take the remaining two points to win the title is what was a breath-taking display from both girls.
“2015 was tough for me and against Olga it is always a real battle and it always goes to three games. We are battling for Olympics here and this is my last shot as I will retire in the summer and today was my day and I am just happy to have my injury behind me and I can now look forward to enjoying every match I play there are not so many more tournaments left for me to enjoy” said Schnaase after her victory.
Anders Antonsen continued his circuit domination and once again lifted a title coming through qualification in a dominant display against home hero Mattias Borg. Antonsen was a class above the rest this week and it is clear now that the European junior champion is boxing well below his weight at circuit level. An easy two game win today gives Antonsen his fourth senior win from just seven tournaments as the big time beckons.
“I am very happy to win another tournament but I think now it is time to challenge myself at a higher level as I have achieved my goal of getting enough points to get out of qualification. I will now go to the German Open GPG and see can I lift my game to the next level where I will likely play against even stronger opposition” said the Dane after his Swedish Masters victory.
A welcome win for Christiansen and Daugaard
Mattias Christiansen was a relieved man today in Uppsala after coming back from the disappointment of losing the opening match on finals day in the mixed doubles to ousting red hot favourites and defending champions Astrup and Rasmussen to lift the men’s doubles title alongside David Daugaard.
In an edge of your seat match the younger Danes should vast maturity to beat their more illustrious compatriots in three games to get their 2016 off to the best start possible.
Denmark also had reason to celebrate in the women’s doubles as Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen added another win to the Belgian International they won back in September. The Danes controlled their final today against Barning and Tabeling from the Netherlands.
Poles Mateusiak and Zieba continued their leisurely stroll to Rio with victory in the mixed doubles which will now allow the Poles to pick and choose their tournaments as they prepare for their swansong at the Olympics in the summer.
“It is a nice win and it is a win that helps us a great deal on the road to Rio. We were most pleased with our performance this week because the end of 2015 was not so good as we struggled with all the tournaments we needed to play That pressure is now off and we can concentrate more on some of the bigger events as the pressure eases on us for points for Rio”
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Article an Images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe (Live in Sweden)