Dutch & French cross border cooperation. (Photo: Mark Phelan)

Mixed nationality pairs shaking things up in Almere

10/11/2017 8:53 AM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Mark Phelan
In the mixed doubles event of Dutch Open, the two mixed nationality pairs had a convincing victory in the first round. Together with Emilie Lefel from France, Ruben Jille beat the German couple Lara Kapplein/Johannes Pistorius in his home country.  The Dutch Open is the first of the five tournaments for Jille and Lefel. They started to play together, because Lefel’s usual partner Gaetan Mittelheiser is injured. ‘I play with different people to stay consistent until Gaetan is recovered. For the next three months I will play with Ruben’ Lefel commented to Badminton Europe. Their first match went ‘better than expected’. ‘It did not feel like a first match’ Jille added. ‘For the next matches we just want to get to know each other better and hope that we both hit our top level’.

The other mixed nationality pair, Amanda Hogstrom (Sweden) and Scott Evans (Ireland pictured below), are also happy with their performance in the first round. ‘We know every match is tough and is never going to be easy, but we got more confidence after practicing together this week’, Evans commented to Badminton Europe. Hogstrom and Evans have paired up since Hogstrom’s former partner quit playing. In their first tournament together, Belgian International, they reached the final. As for the upcoming matches they have to say: ‘We both understand what needs to happen’. Hogstrom and Evans will at least play together until Christmas. Afterwards they will decide if they will continue developing their partnership.

Local heroes and English pairs also in second round

Three of the four English couples have progressed to second round in mixed doubles. Victoria Williams and Matthew Clare have also gained a lot of confidence since their final in the Polish International. ‘We were really excited after our win and we are looking forward to the next round!’ Williams and Cole commented. Tomorrow they will face home based pair Imke van der Aar/Ruben Jille, who beat the fifth seeded pair Chan Peng Soon/Cheah Yee See from Malaysia.

Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis are the second English pair who progressed to the next round. They beat the experienced pair from Russia, Vitalij Durkin and Nina Vislova. ‘We were not sure what their current level was, so we needed to play the best we could’ Ellis had to say after the match. ‘Even though we are just eight seeded, we could beat any pair if we play both at our best’ Ellis added. The next round they have to face the other English pair Jenny Moore/Gregory Mairs. After a long match they managed to beat French couple Leo Palermo/Bastian Karsaudy. ‘It is always hard to play another English pair, as we know each other very well’, Smith commented about their upcoming match.

In another long match, local heroes Selena Piek and Jacco Arends, claimed the victory over Jenny Nystrom and Anton Kaisti (Finland). They will face Maneesha/Attri from India in the second round tomorrow.

COE player Felix Burestedt advances to third round

Felix Burlestedt (Sweden pictured above) who is currently training in Holbaek at the Centre of Excellence has advanced to the third round in men’s singles. In the first round he beat Ivan Rusev from Bulgaria in two close sets. Also his second match had to be decided in a late stage of the second set, but he withstood the pressure and also Eetu Heino in straight games. 

Dutch Gayle Mahulette has proceeded to the second round of Dutch Open. She beat Belgian Lianne Tan in three sets and will face Denmark’s Mette Poulsen in the second round. Poulsen’s compatriots Natalia Koch Rohde, Sofie Holmboe Dahl and Mia Blichfeldt have also reached the second round in women’s singles. The tournament ended for Irina Amalie Andersen and Julie Dawall Jakobsen. They faced their Waterloo to respectively Fabienne Deprez (Germany) and eight seeded Haruko Suzuki.

For all results from today’s play at Yonex Dutch Open click HERE

For photos from Almere via our Facebook page click HERE

TO re visit the action on demand via our YouTube channel click HERE

Article by Mireille Van Daal (Live in Almere) Photos by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe

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