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(Photo: Estonian International)
The Estonian queen takes the title
Date: 1/17/2022 5:43 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
The Estonian International 2022 sees Kristin Kuuba taking the crown while France’s unstoppable young talent Alex Lanier scores his third senior title.

The YONEX Estonian International 2022 has had a home hero taking the gold, a young star flaunting his talent against experience, and Thailand taking all the doubles titles. The first tournament of the 2022 European circuit has kicked off the year in great style before players continue their fight for titles at the Swedish Open 2022 this week.

Kuuba wins a title at home
This was a special event for Estonia’s number one women’s singles player. Last year, Kristin Kuuba was one of the European players attending the world’s biggest sport event, the Olympics, and she won two titles — the Polish Open and Dutch Open. The player has showed her ambition by starting the year in the best possible way by adding another title to her career, and this win was a special one.

Kuuba went on to advance into the finals by winning in straight games, facing Malaysia’s Myisha Mohd Khairul, USA’s Kateling Ngo, and Russian players Mariia Golubeva and Anastasiia Semenova. Waiting for her in the decisive match was Thamonwan Nithiittikrai, Thailand, who has made her senior debut in Europe.

Despite it being a close result, the first game saw Nithiittikrai taking the lead, but Kuuba got to recover in an even closer second game that was taken to 23 points. However, the Estonian player closed the decisive game of the hour-long encounter with a more comfortable result to get her first championship win at her home country’s biggest tournament. 

Lanier continues impressing Europe
What a great year 2021 was for 16-year-old Lanier. The French talent got his first two senior titles — at the DECATHLON PERFLY Italian International and the RSL Lithuanian International —, facing off Europe’s best, and also becoming the U17 European champion. It seems like Lanier wants to grow his senior medals collection, as he arrived in Tallinn hungry for more.

With three wins in straight games and his semifinal opponent Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne retiring halfway through the first game of their encounter, the French player met Kok Jing Hong in the fight for the gold. The Malaysian player, German Junior 2020 champion, was close to catching up with Lanier in the first game, but Lanier sealed the title win in two games, 22-20, 21-15.

Thailand, taking over the doubles in Tallinn
There was plenty of Thai talent on display at the Estonian International 2022, but the doubles categories is where they managed to shine above everyone else. Ruttanapak Oupthong/ Sirawit Sothon won against Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta/ Jun Liang Andy Kwek in a three-game thriller, 21-17, 17-21, 21-16.

Chasinee Korepap/ Jhenicha Sudjaipraparat only needed two games to win the match against Russia’s Viktoriia Kozyreva/ Mariia Sukhova. Mixed doubles had an all-Thai encounter, with Tachapol Makkasasithorn/ Jhenicha Sudjaipraparat winning the gold while compatriots Ruttanapak Oupthong/ Chasinee Korepap settled for silver.
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