Bankier and Blair dominate doubles in Kharkov
Date: 9/9/2013 8:02 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Scotland’s Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier started the season in the best possible manner by lifting the mixed doubles title at the 2013 Babolat Kharkov International yesterday.

And just for good measure Bankier and Bulgarian partner Petya Nedelcheva took the women’s doubles title. Blair and Bankier, who won the French International title last season, started the new campaign with an impressive run of wins in Kharkov.

The third seeds only dropped one game on the way to the final and that was in their opening contest against Russian qualifiers Anatoliy Yartsev and Evgeniya Kosetskaya before the Glasgow stars hit back to win 21-13 20-22 21-10. In the quarter-finals they defeated another Russian pair Andrej Ashmarin and Ekanerina Boltotova 21-19 21-17.

In the semi-finals they proved too strong for top seeds Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogström, winning 21-13 21-9 to repeat their Sudirman Cup win over the Swedish pair.

The final challenge came against Danish fourth seeds Kim Astrup and Maria Helsbøl and the Scots came from behind to win 20-22 21-9 21-18 after letting slip a 19-16 lead and a game point at 20-19 in the opener.

In the women’s doubles Bankier and Nedelcheva, who won the Finnish women’s doubles last season, took the Kharkov title without dropping a game. After a first-round bye they defeated Elena Komendrovskaja and Maria Shegurova 21-12 21-6 then defeated another Russian pair, Tatjana Bibik and Ekanerina Bolotova 21-15 21-13.

The semi-final saw them down a third Russian pair when they toppled Victoria Dergunova and Olga Morozava 21-10 21-13 before romping to the title with a 21-11 21-12 victory over Helsbøl and Lena Grebak.

Unlucky finals day for Maria Helsbøl

It was an unlucky finals day for Maria Helsbøl, who lost both her finals – as did her partner Astrup, who went down in the men’s doubles as he and Anders Skaarup lost to Polish top seeds Adam Cwalina and Przemyslaw Wacha.

Multiple National Champion of Ukraine, Dmytro Zavadsky became a Babolat Kharkov International winner for the second time. On his path to the victory, Zavadsky upset Anton Ivanov (Russia) 21-19, 21-10,  European Junior Champion 2009 Emil Holst (Denmark) 22-20, 21-11, Silver medalist at the 2012 European Championships Henri Hurskainen (Sweden) 18-21, 21-19, 17-21 and finally Mattias Borg of Sweden 21-14, 21-17 in Sunday's finals.

To check the Kharkov results and schedules go to

Men's singles
Women's singles
Men's doubles
Women's doubles
Mixed doubles

Article by Michie Fraser, Photos by BadmintonPhoto.


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