Heriau & Adam ones to watch in Latvia
French young guns primed for success
Date: 5/30/2017 11:12 AM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Jelgava, about 40km southwest of Riga, plays hosts to this weeks Yonex Latvia International where a mixture of youth and experience are set to battle it out for senior honours in this Future Series rated tournament.  An open book across all five disciplines represents a real opportunity for individuals or pairs to emerge from the pack to claim a senior title as we draw towards the conclusion of the 2016/17 circuit season. 

France have continued to use the circuits Future series and International series tournaments as a spring board for their emerging juniors to break into the senior ranks and this week is no different. In the mixed doubles the French have some exciting talent making the trip north.

Ones to watch will be Vimala Heriau and Eloi Adam who are seeded three for the tournament. The young French have been gleaning valuable senior experience this season and their progress suggests a future series win is now within reach. 

Juliet Moinard, who announced her arrival two years ago in Kazan at the European U15 tournament, is another fresh faced French star in the making and she teams up with Fabien Delrue this week in the mixed competition. With a handful of years still left in junior ranks the wise money would be on the young French pair to bag a senior title before their junior years run out. 

Czech pair Filip Budzel & Tereza Svabikova have had a fruitful two weeks on tour while at the same time a frustrating one. Two runners up spots will have the Czech pair hungrier than ever and they may be the ones to beat this week if fatigue is not a factor. 

A short trip for women’s doubles top seeds Ruutel & Kuuba will see the Estonians fresh for the tournament. Russian duo Rogova & Arkhangelskaya, recent winners in Slovenia a notch higher on the tournament ladder, will offer the stiffest threat to the Estonians. 

In the men’s doubles sticking the pin in the draw is as likely to pick the winner as an in depth analysis of all pairs. The men’s pairs event is so wide open and has a surprise winner written all over it. That being said young French pair Adam & Corvee will be worth following while a podium place is not out of the question for a pair from qualification. 

Finn back to go one better

Kasper Lehikoinen (pictured above) returns to Latvia this year to attempt to go one better than his runners up spot last year. The Finn is seeded three but the difference this year is that Lehikoinen returns to Latvia as a two time winner since his podium 12 months ago. 

Lehikoinen has probably the toughest first round match of all this week where he faces Dane Mikkel Enghoj with the winner likely to be a medal contender come the podium on Sunday. 

Germany’s Kai Schaefer is top seed and if the German brings his top game with him he is the favourite for sure. However, there are times this season where Schaefer has been brilliant and times when his games has been less than inspiring. 2017 so far has been at the bottom end of the graph for the German but maybe this week will be the week he turns that statistic on its head. 

In the women’s singles Alesia Zaitsava is seeded one and like Lehikoinen she is hoping to go one better this week. The one to watch however will certainly be Olga Arkhangelskaya. The Russian has been around the circuit for years and her power and experience, from an unseeded position, can take her to the top of the podium. The big question will be if the Russian can manage the demands of both doubles and singles in a tightly packed schedule where she will be tipped to go a long way in both. 

For all draws for this week Yonex Latvia International which starts on Thursday click HERE

For all current Badminton Europe elite circuit rankings click HERE

Article an archive images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe

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