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Photo: Badminton Estonia / Oleg Hartsenko
Anton Kaisti: I asked and that is it
Date: 5/25/2020 10:01 AM
Published by : BEC staff

Dual nation doubles partnerships are a rarity on the circuit and often catch the eye when scanning tournament draws. We speak to one player who is no stranger to these cross-border collaborations. 


Finland’s Anton Kaisti struck up a number of different title-winning partnerships with top players from other nations, namely Koen Ridder in the men’s doubles and Cheryl Seinen in the mixed doubles from the Netherlands. He also played with Bulgaria’s Gabriela Stoeva back in 2013! 


In 2020, we have seen Kaisti link up with Czech Republic’s Alžběta Bášová. Explaining this move, he gave a simple answer. 


- Last year I did not have a mixed partner and saw that Alžběta’s former partner, Jakub Bitman had stopped. So, I asked her if she would like to play and that is about it.


This year, the Finnish-Czech pair made a start which felt like as if they had been playing together for years. A semifinal finish at the Estonian International, losing to the Japanese number one seeds Urai/ Miyaura 23-21, 22-20. Followed by a runners-up spot at the Austrian Open after defeating a very capable Taiwanese pair of Tseng Min Hao and Hsieh Pei Shan 23-21, 26-24 in the semifinal. They came up short against the Danes Jeppe Bay and Sara Lundgaard in the final. 


After this promising start, Kaisti comments on what we can expect from them in the future?


- Well, I hope once the ‘corona lockdown’ ends and the tournaments start again that you will see more of us, maybe even challenging the top pairs in Europe.


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The main focus


Kaisti, 28, is one of the more experienced and versatile players on the circuit, having won a title in singles, doubles and mixed. He explains what his major goals are he is still striving for. 


- One goal would be to qualify to the European Championships. Otherwise, we will just see how the next few tournaments go and see from there.


As already mentioned, we have seen Kaisti play with a variety of partners over the years. How has it been changing partners for him?


- Changing partners have of course been a bit difficult but I think I have managed to play with different partners pretty well.


Kaisti has also been entering into the men’s doubles with fellow Finn Oskari Larkimo. Explaining what his main focus is now, he states.  


- The main focus is mixed, last year we were focusing on doubles as I did not have a mixed partner. My doubles partner also decided to stop after this season and I will be trying out a few tournaments with a younger player from Finland, but the main focus is on mixed.


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How far we can go 


Coming into the latter stages of a player’s career, there are often questions around their final milestone which may mark an end of their competitive career. For Kaisti, this came quite close recently. 


- Before starting to play with Alžběta I had thought about retiring from international badminton as I knew my doubles partner was also retiring. But now the motivation is back, and we will see how far we can go with Alžběta.


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