A Dutch singles star in the making
Date: 3/27/2013 10:45 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The first full day of the 2013 European Junior Championships individual event in Ankara provided few upsets as all the major protagonists advanced through the first round of 128 with little or no trouble. What the first day of the individual event did offer though was a glimpse of some stars of the future as they emerged from the comfort and security of the team surrounds into the battlefield of the individual tournament.

Coming into the tournament the major discussion took place around the destination of the women’s singles title as after the first days play there is still little to change the opinion that players of the calibre of Yigit, Kjærsfeldt, Rhode, Lansac and Madsen will all feature.

What we were not too sure about was the quality of the men’s singles draw and after today’s play two names in particular will be thrown into the hat as potential threats to the podium and more so potential stars of the future.

17 year old Dutch youngster Justin Teeuwen is one of those that caught the eye today and even had the Danish coaches looking on and nodding as if to justify his talent. Some of them even went as far as comparing him to the great Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia not only in looks and appearance on court but with a back hand to die for.

Teeuwen took down Turk Enis Sesalan in two straight sets and the points he gave away were more to do with tactical and mental naivety than the good play of his opponent. The core skills and technique are there in abundance and this coupled with the ‘X’ factor flair that he oozes the young Dutch certainly has the world at his feet. The future of singles may just have a chance to shine in The Netherlands after all.

Joonas Korhonen and Mark Lamsfuss/Franziska Volkmann showed their talent

Another to catch the eye in the men’s singles draw was Joonas Korhonen. The tall Finnish player was every bit the match and better than reigning European U17 champion Alex Lane and mentally has attributes beyond his years. His 21-18 21-11 victory in just 25 minutes was enough to see him through to the next round. Let’s just hope that a niggling knee injury does not prevent the youngster from challenging at the business end of the tournament.

In what was billed as probably the match of the day the mixed doubles encounter between two of the favoured pairs for medals come Sunday ended up being very one way traffic for the classy looking German pairing of Mark Lamsfuss and Franziska Volkmann.

The Germans match against gold medallist from the team event Mathias Christiansen and partner Rikke Hansen proved easier than expected as Hansen in particular looked completely out of sorts after her late arrival to Ankara and Christiansen’s body language in the second set was a far cry from the player we saw take the first point for Denmark in the team final just 24 hours earlier.

The Germans cruised to a 21-10 21-14 win and in doing so have assumed the title as favourites for the mixed doubles individual title.

For all today’s results from Ankara click HERE

For full photo gallery from today’s play follow Badminton Europe on facebook by clicking HERE

To view all the action on demand from today’s play and watch live full day coverage on BETV click HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Ankara)

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