Germans & French look to go back to back in Rome
The final international challenge tournament of the year on the Badminton Europe circuit gets underway tomorrow in Rome and after success as recently as Saturday in Dublin both Zurwonne/Jansen (GER) and Lefel/Tran (FRA) will look to add the Italian International to their Irish titles to round off 2016 in perfect style. Fabian Roth also makes the trip to Rome but this week will have to come through qualification of he is to repeat his success from Dublin on Saturday.
The German men’s doubles (pictured above) will certainly be amongst the favourites in Rome as the go from strength to strength in European competitions. It was Italy last year where Zurwonne & Jansen made their debut as a pair and after 3 wins in 2016 they will be the ones to beat this week in Italy.
The Germans have been handed a reasonable draw and should not be tested until the quarter final where at that point they should have found their feet. Swedish pair Ruponen and Eidestedt return this week and are still trying to recapture the form that saw them lift the Orleans International at the beginning of the year.
Towler and Nottingham (ENG) will be scheduled to meet the Germans in the semi-final but like the Swedes, the English pair are still looking to find the form that saw them be the pair to beat in 2014. Others to keep an eye on are Danish pair Sogaard and Antonsen who on their day can beat anyone in the field.
French women’s doubles pair Emilie Lefel and Anne Tran battled their way to victory in Dublin on Saturday. Like the Germans, the French will have time to find their feet in Rome and should comfortably negotiate the opening rounds.
Mitsova and Nedelcheva will have benefited from a week off and will arrive in Rome fresh and watch for Dutch pairings Tableing/Seinen and Van Der Aar/Jille who continue to impress consistently across the circuit this season.
Tough opener for Corrales
Beatriz Corrales (pictured above) has been handed a tough opening assignment as top seed in the women’s singles where she will face Irish finalist Shou Yun Sung who ran Line Kjaersfeldt close in Dublin. Get through that opener and another form player, Sabrina Jaquet (SUI) should be waiting as early as the quarter final.
Soraya DeVisch Eijbergen (NED) is edging closer and closer to a podium since her return from injury and will troubles all in the bottom half of the draw while Mia Blichfeldt will be back again after an unlucky loss in round 1 in Dublin and surely a big win is not too far away for the plucky Dane.
Defending champion Natalia Koch Rohde is seeded three for the event but will need to find a bit more than she displayed in a run to the semi-final in Dublin last week if she is to retain her title.
Just as Corrales has a tough opening so too does compatriot Pablo Abian in the men’s singles. The European games champion from 2015 lost out to Scott Evans in Ireland after a frustrating semi-final for the Spaniard but once the head stays focused Abian is the man to beat this week.
Italy will look to opportunities in the men’s singles also and Indra Bagus Ade Chandra has all the tools in his locker to lift the title. His home international may have come to soon for Rosario Maddaloni after returning from surgery but Maddaloni will always give everything on his home patch.
Ruponen & Hogstrom (SWE) return as top seeds in the mixed but as the most open competition of the five disciplines any one of ten pairs are in with a realistic shout of the title come Friday.
For all the draws for the 2016 Italian International click HERE
Article and archive images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe