Circuit

Gavnholt going for hat trick
Date: 8/26/2015 3:06 PM
Published by : Zsofia Horvath (EU)
The Yonex Slovak Open 2015 kicks off in Trencin tomorrow with an impressive line-up assembled for this circuit entry level rated Future Series tournament. World number 71 Kristina Gavnholt will be the big draw and travels to Slovakia on the back of the biggest win of her career at the Russian Open Grand Prix in Vladivostok last month. 

Indeed the Czech Olympian will be looking for a hat trick of victories after her win at the International Challenge in Lagos previous to Russia and as the top player in the women’s singles field Gavnholt should comfortably claim the top step of the podium. 

Jana Ciznarova and Martina Repiska represent a healthy home challenge and hiding in the middle of the draw is the unseeded Panuga Riou. The English player is looking to put a season of injury behind her and she embarks on her comeback after winning the Polish International in 2014. Riou is certainly one to watch in Trencin this week. 

The men’s singles draw is pretty much an open book and while Austria’s Mathias Almer is top seed realistically any one of 10 players can lift the title. Almer has Mendrek (CZE), Dubowski (POL) and Sam Parsons of England on his side of the draw while down the bottom half Daniel Font of Wales could represent a good outside bet to go further than his seeding of 8 would suggest.  Font has a tough opener against Dutch youngster Justin Teeuwen who, on his day, has the measure of the entire men’s singles field. 

Golden opportunity for Bitman & Basova to kick-start their season 

The past twelve months has not been the most fruitful on court for top Czech mixed doubles pair Alzbeta Basova and Jakub Bitman. It is almost a year since their last final at the Hungarian International 2014. Since then it has been slim pickings for the Czechs and the Slovak Open represents a golden opportunity for them to gather some momentum at the start of this new circuit season. 

As top seeds the Czechs should be untroubled until the semi-final where they are scheduled to meet exciting young English duo and European Junior silver medallists Lane & Pugh. Daniel Font & Carissa Turner will again be a threat to the podium as they continue their fledgling partnership but the Welsh will be tested very early on against Finland’s Aarnio & Nystrom. 

Elsewhere it is a very youthful feel to both the men’s and women’s doubles and Powell & Pugh for England will ease into senior life and look contenders to lift the women’s doubles. Ben Lane & Matthew Clare likewise will be hunting for the podium as the new wave of English doubles and mixed doubles pairs hit the senior circuit. 

For all the draws from the 2015 Yonex Slovak Open click HERE

Article by Mark Phelan, photo by Badminton Photo

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