Maiden win for Roth as Germany lift two titles
Fabian Roth (main picture) of Germany claimed his maiden international challenge circuit title this afternoon in Dublin defeating a gallant Scott Evans in his home final. Germany had doubles reason to celebrate as they lifted the men’s doubles title while Denmark walked away with two victories with a women’s doubles win for France sandwiched between thanks to Lefel and Tran.
Home hero Scott Evans had been in sparkling form all week in the new NIA in Dublin and was probably a slight favourite going into today’s final on form this week. The Irishman had not dropped a set while Roth went through the pain barrier after a three-set marathon against Kim Bruun yesterday.
The German however looked in control at 20-16 in the first but the never say die attitude of Evans came to the fore and the Irishman levelled at 20-20 to send the home fans wild. Evans was unable to capitalise and use that momentum as the cool-headed German steadied the ship taking the two points needed to win the first set 22-20.
Evans to his credited bounced right back in the second game blowing the German aside to level the match and 1 game apiece. Roth, known for his nerves of steel and uncanny ability to get himself out of trouble, left the Irish camp rocked at the beginning of the deciding set racing into a 7-0 lead, a lead that the German was ultimately never to surrender.
Roth went on to claim the title with a 21-15 deciding set win and fell to his knees with the realisation he had just won his first big circuit tournament. Of course, the win had been coming after some excellent performances since returning from injury in September and Roth was obviously delighted when speaking to Badminton Europe after the win.
“It has been very tough this week. Mentally draining and I think the differences today were very small between myself and Scott in this final”
When asked, what did get him over the line for the victory Roth responded. “I think staying calm and focused between points was crucial and now that I have won makes all the hard work worth it after my year out with injury”
Evans to his credit was exemplary in defeat congratulating his opponent and thanking all for the support during the week.
“I have to congratulate Fabian on his first circuit win. He really played well this week and of course I am disappointed but I had a good week and felt in a good place up to the final. I found it hard to get out of the bed this morning, maybe that is something to do with age, but I gave it my best and today the better player came out on top”
Germany added the men’s doubles title to the men’s singles as Josche Zurwonne and Jones Ralfy Jansen (pictured above) came through a pair of extremely title sets to lift the title their third of 2016.
First circuit title for Lefel and Tran after a few near misses
Sandwiched between a pair of wins for both German and Denmark the broad smiles of both Emilie Lefel and Anne Tran (pictured above) were overriding evidence of their happiness after securing their first title as a pair after a series of near misses.
The French have been consistent but without a win with a handful of quarter and semi-finals to their credit but today in Dublin the French ladies showed what they are really made after trailing 20-15 in the first game to win the title in two sets.
The French consigned Danish pair Julie Finne-Ipsen and Rikke Soby to their second consecutive Irish Open defeat but after gutsy performances in both the semi-final and today’s final there is not a badminton fan that can begrudge the French their excellent win.
“This is a big day for us and after a slow start to win that opening game gave us great belief said Lefel. This is an amazing feeling and one we will enjoy” said Lefel.
All in a day’s work for Kjaersfeldt, Christiansen & Thygesen
Coming into this Irish open there were no hotter favourites that Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt (pictured above) in women’s singles and compatriots Christiansen and Thygesen in mixed doubles. The Danes duly delivered taking both titles in two games.
Kjaersfeldt said of her win “It has been a tough period with many tournaments and travelling. This is my last tournament this year and it is a nice way to end. I will have a week holiday now before a tough training block into the new year.”
Mathias Christiansen was equally happy as he and Thygesen look to bigger things in 2017. “This is of course important for us as our goal in to qualify for the World Championships in Glasgow next summer.”
To view all the results from today’s finals in Dublin click HERE
For a photo gallery from all the finals action of FZ FORZA Irish Open click HERE
TO re visit all the finals on demand via Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel click HERE
Article by Mark Phelan. Images by Mark Phelan & Megan Bredin