Kaisti & Sinkko lead home qualification charge
The Finnish Open kicked off this morning in Vantaa with a large travelling Japanese & Taipei teams on hand to mix it amongst the circuits home grown regulars. Qualification day hosted a large volume of home grown Finnish talent and Anton Kaisti and Riikka Sinkko showed their pedigree to book their main draw spots from the singles draws.
Kaisti (pictured above), a regular winner on the European circuit in mixed doubles, will have a break from the doubles events this week as his partner Jenny Nystrom takes up club duty in the Bundesliga in Germany. The Finn came through a gruelling three game qualification programme to advance to the main draw and will now play top seed Pablo Abian in tomorrow’s first round proper.
Riikka Sinkko (pictured below) followed Kaisti into the main draw but benefitted from a lot less court time and as a result will be a lot fresher heading into the main draw. The Finn only needed one qualification round and in that match beat Russian Olga Rogova in an easy two games. Things will get a lot tougher for Sinkko tomorrow as she plays Japanese Asuka Takahashi in round one.
Estonia’s Helina Ruutel joined her women’s doubles partner Kristin Kuuba in the main draw again benefiting from a shortened qualification group due to the promotion of Rebecka Kuhl to the main draw. The Estonian will now play Nanna Vainio in round one as reward for her qualification exploits.
The Danish men had a good day in qualification pushing three players into the main draw from the eight available spots. Rasmus Messerschmidt got the ball rolling for the Danes and Mads Christophersen and Mikkel Enghoj followed up with qualification success.
Luis Enrique Penalver of Spain ended the run of Mikkel Mikkelsen as the Dane looked to try his main draw luck in singles as well as being one of the favourites for the mixed doubles. Penalver has battled hard this season in qualification and got his rewards today. The Spaniard trailed Mikkelsen 11-4 in the deciding set but the Dane ran out of singles steam with Penalver storming home to win 21-16 in the decider.
A main draw place secured and he will certainly fancy his chances in the easier quarter of the men’s singles draw starting with a match against Russia’s Sergey Sirant.
For all results from qualification day in Finland click HERE
To view a photo gallery from today’s play click HERE
TO revisit all the action on demand from courts 1 & 2 via our YouTube channel click HERE
Article and images by Mark Phelan (Live in Vantaa)