Kersaudy & Mittelheisser the unlikeliest of Heroes
Date: 3/30/2014 10:54 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

When the French International kicked off on Thursday it would have been a fool hardy decision to place a friendly bet on Gaetan Mittelheisser and Bastian Kersaudy (pictured) ending up as the best placed French pair in the men’s doubles draw.

As the tournament has progressed so to have the likeable French duo and their style of entertaining badminton has made them a fans favourite in the Palais Des Sport this week in Orleans. Their success has not be shrouded in good fortune more so good play and hard work and after a good showing in Poland last week they came to their home French International full of confidence and a belief in what they were doing.

After coming through the early rounds, where they beat fellow French doubles pair Corvee & Leverdez, their statement of intent came in their quarter final win over German duo Schwenger and Heinz in a three set thriller. Mittelheisser and Kersaudy then achieved the almost unachievable by beating Chinese Taipei duo Lu and Huang to set up a mouth-watering final against the best pair on the circuit Wacha & Cwalina from Poland.

“This win is a dream come through for us today. We get to play in the final of our home international tournament and we are sure to have the whole crowd behind us tomorrow” said Kersaudy.

Speaking of their opponents in Sundays final Gaetan Mittelheisser was obviously excited about the chance to play a pair that have been the best in Europe over the past 12 months.

“Cwalina & Wacha are going for their tenth title in twelve months. It is a huge challenge for us to play against them but with the crowd behind us we will certainly be giving it our all to win”

Sashina comes up trumps

French fortunes continued to blossom as Sashina Vignes Waran beat Linda Zetchiri to advance to the final of the women’s singles after the disappointment of losing out in the first round in 2013.

The French number 1 went a set down to the Bulgarian and looked out of sorts at the beginning of the second trailing 4-0 before the legendary Sashina fighting spirit kicked in and dug herself out of an every deepening hole.

As the momentum shifted in favour of the French woman the fight went from Zetchiri and Vignes Waran came home in three games to the relief of the 1000 strong crowd watching.

“I started so bad and could not get a feel for the shuttle. But I kept fighting and I saw her getting tired in the second game and I knew that was my chance and I took it” said Sashina after her victory.

The French number 1 will face reigning champion Beatriz Corrales in tomorrow’s final after the Spaniard defeated Kusunose of Japan in two straight games.

Danes Defy Mixed Odds

Danish mixed doubles pair Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen defied not only the odd but their seeding to make it to the final to make it to the final where they will face off against defending champions Blair and Bankier from Scotland.

The Danes defeated second seeds Schwenger and Nelte in the quarter finals before seeing off the challenge of fourth seeds Careme and Tran in the very first of the evening semi-finals.

“This is our first final together and what a tournament to get it at” said Nohr. “The atmosphere and the crowd have been fantastic and it is a real pleasure to play in front of fans like this as it is not something that happens very often”.

Imogen Bankier will take part in two finals after making it through both her mixed and women’s doubles alongside Petya Nedelcheva. In what might be the pick of the finals the women’s doubles is sure to be electric with the Stoeva sisters on the opposite side of the net.

Finally Pablo Abian continues to roll back the years and has beaten some top class talent en route to yet another career final. The Spaniard will be the favourite against Vladimir Malkov after the Russian came through in three games against Ukraine’s Dmytro Zavadsky.

For all results from Orleans click HERE

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To watch all the finals live and free from 1pm tomorrow local time subscribe to Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel by clicking HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Orleans)

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