Home stars top the billing
Date: 9/17/2014 1:12 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The 2014 Polish International kicks off this week in Lubin, Poland with the home nation’s top stars all in action as the International Series rated event continues to go from strength to strength. From meagre 2012 beginnings the third staging of the event moves to the new purpose built sports arena which will also host the 2015 European Junior Championships, 2017 European Mixed Team Championships and the European Club Championships in 2018.

Doubles opportunities for home grown stars

Historically Polish doubles have always been strong and this coming week in Poland the home stars will be hot favourites to lift at least two title in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Szkudlarczyk and Moren are hot favourites but the 2012 champions will find themselves pushed hard by Poland’s top men’s doubles player Adam Cwalina and his temporary partner Pawel Pietryja. Croatian duo Durkinjak & Hoelbling will threaten both Polish pairs but a lot will depend on how the Croatians travel after a week’s intensive league matches in Denmark.

Former European champion Robert Mateusiak will line up alongside his now established partner Agnieszka Wojtkowska as hot favourites to lift the mixed doubles title and baring disaster should be the ultimate banker for a Polish victory on home soil come Sunday’s podium presentation.

Opportunity for new blood to shine in singles.

The singles draw for this year’s Polish international is wide open in both the men’s and women’s individual event. In 2012 the then unknown Kirsty Gilmour travelled to Lubin and announced her arrival at international level with a victory that was to send the Scot on her way to the world’s top 20. Last year’s event was dominated by the travelling Chinese Taipei party and 2014 represents a real opportunity for European talent to shine through.

Michal Rogalski will have all the pressure of home court and top seed on his shoulders and Slovenian giant Istok Utrosa has the beating of the entire men’s singles field once his ‘A’ game travels to Poland with him. English young guns Sam Parsons and Rhys Walker will be chomping at the bit to prove themselves as now senior GB players and Finland’s Anton Kasti has been improving year on year as a singles player and will have a bearing on the destination of the medals come Sunday.

In the women’s singles Ukrainian Marija Ulitina is long overdue circuit success and as top seed will have experience on her side in Lubin. However the Ukrainian has players like Carissa Turner (Wales) and the returning Swiss Nicole Schaller on her side of the draw and all before the quarter finals.

European bronze medallist Ozge Bayrak makes the trip to Lubin as third seeds but is struggling to find the form that took her to the podium in Kazan earlier in the year. In the bottom half of the draw England’s Fontaine Chapman will fancy her draw and the plucky Brit is a real medal contender after a dream 2014 so far.

The Polish International will use the experimental scoring system this year which might have a bearing on the destination of the medals on finals day. Those with experience of the 5 to 11 might have an advantage this week so keep an eye on those who have that valuable experience already gained from Ukraine and Belgium earlier this month.

For all draws from Polish International click HERE.

Photo by BadmintonPhoto.

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