Singles blown wide open in Uppsala
Date: 1/22/2016 9:21 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Both the men’s and women’s singles draw has been blown right open after day one of the main draw matches at the Swedish Masters. The men’s singles was without both top seeds Ouseph and Leverdez from the start but no one would have foreseen just one seeded player left in the draw at quarter final stage. Estonia’s Raul Must is that solitary seed in what was a day for the underdogs in Uppsala.

Malkov was first to fall followed by Zilberman, Holst and Rouxel. In all three qualifiers have made it to the quarter final with home hero Henri Hurskainen (main pictured) getting the biggest cheer of the day in his demolition of Lucas Corvee of France in round 2. 

The Swede looks to be back to his best this week after an up and down 2015 and buoyed by the home fans will now fancy his chances, against all odds, to get to a minimum of a semi-final in Uppsala. Denmark’s Anders Antonsen beat his compatriot Holst to set up a quarter final with third seed Raul Must. Antonsen knows how to win tournaments and doing it from qualification is not an issue for the European junior champion. 

There is also a welcome return to form for Rasmus Fladberg who has a fresh outlook after a disappointing 2015 which was hampered by injury. The Dane is happy to be back winning matches and will look to 2016 as an opportunity to make steps forward. Fladberg will play Lucas Claerbout of France in the quarter final as the Frenchman continues his remarkable rise up the world rankings. 

“It is good to be back and winning some games. 2015 was a frustrating year and now I am looking to push ahead and my goal for 2016 is to start to beat players inside the world’s top 40. That I feel is a realistic goal for me” said Fladberg to Badminton Europe

While Hurskainen was grabbing the local headlines another Swede also booked his quarter finals spot coming through qualification. Mattias Borg was the unlikeliest of home heroes and the Swede will now play Pedro Martins of Portugal for a place in the semi-final.

Just as the men’s singles was full of surprises, the women’s singles also threw up its fair share of upsets. Finland’s finest Nanna Vainio and Airi Mikkela (pictured below) both fighting for a solitary spot on the flight to Rio, produced performances of some quality to take down seeded opposition in the shape of Beatriz Corrales and Petya Nedelcheva. 

“I trained very hard after Christmas and purposely avoided tournaments until now to get myself ready for this and the following tournament block. It has been a very good day for Finland with both Nanna & I winning and I hope we can produce good performances tomorrow in the quarter final.

Mikkela has the toughest of quarter final tasks against second seed and probable tournament favourite Line Kjaersfeldt while Vainio will be favourite in her quarter final match against Clara Azurmendi of Spain. Julie Finne-Ipsen was another giant killer sustaining the circuit misfortunes of Anna Thea Madsen while German duo Schnaase and Konon went about their business virtually under the radar to keep the percentage of seeds left in the women’s singles draw at an acceptable level. 

Danes in control of the mixed doubles draw

The odds of a Danish pair lifting the mixed doubles crown in Uppsala were slashed after round two today with a total of 5 pairs making it through to the quarter finals. Even with 5 pairs the biggest upset of the mixed doubles draw came as European Games Champions Nohr & Thygesen fell to compatriots Fruergaard and Gravholt. Niclas Nohr looked a bit out of sorts and the less fancied Danish pair were quick to capitalise. 

Even with 5 pairs in the quarter finals the red hot favourites remain Mateusiak and Zieba after the Poles hardly broke a sweat to make yet another circuit quarter final. Mateusiak and Zieba will play the sole remaining Dutch representatives Jille and Tabeling in tomorrow’s quarter final. 

Elsewhere there were no problems for Danish men’s doubles top seeds as Kim Astrup & Anders Skaarup Rasmussen blew out some early round cobwebs to ease into the tournament. Second seeds Langridge & Ellis followed and Niclas Nohr made up for the earlier mixed doubles disappointment to make it to the men’s doubles quarter finals alongside Kasper Antonsen. 

For all results from today’s main draw action in Uppsala click HERE

For a full Facebook photo gallery from today’s play click HERE

To watch all the live quarter finals action from all court on our youtube channel chick HERE

Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe. 

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