Bruun hunting Greek double
Denmark’s Kim Bruun (main picture) is the overwhelming favourite this week in Greece for the Future Series rated Hellas International. Bruun won the Hellas Open as recently as May and will be going for the doubles on Greek soil this week in Sidirokastro.
The 22-year-old Dane’s talent is unquestioned and Bruun has played a pivotal role in Danish club TSS run to a hatful of Danish league titles over the past few seasons. As recent as November 2015 Bruun had a run to the semifinal of the Scottish Open Grand Prix an event a further three sets up the quality ladder from this week’s future series in Greece.
Who can challenge Bruun this week? Second seed for the men’s singles is Adam Mendrek of Czech Republic and with quarter finals and semi finals at the recent Slovenian and Latvian Internationals a circuit win is surely not too far away for the Czech 20-year-old.
Daniel Chislov (pictured above left) has been a talent everyone has been watching over the past two years. The Israeli shuttler showed some good form this past week in Tours for his club and will bring the biggest challenge to Bruun on the top half on the draw.
Mitsova’s breakthrough opportunity
Bulgaria’s Mariya Mitsova (pictured right) is a player who has shown a big improvement over the course of the 2015/16 circuit season. A quarter final three game defeat to Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark at the Dutch International is an indication of her improvement and the Bulgarian beauty also played a major role in the success of the Bulgarian women’s team this year in Kazan at the European women’s team championship.
As top seed Mitsova will be the hunted player and the Bulgarian will have the power to take down anyone in the field including second seeded Aimee Moran of Wales. One to maybe watch is young Moldovan athlete Vlada Gynga (pictured bottom left). At just 15 years old Gynga still has a lot to learn but her no fear attitude and improving skills will be enough to test Mitsova in the top half of the draw.
In the men’s doubles Bulgarian pair Rusev and Nikolov will soak up the sun in Greece and should power to the podium while on paper their can only be one winner in the women’s doubles where another Bulgarian powerhouse, Petya Nedelcheva will team up with Mitsova and should have no issues winning this coming week.
Finally, Nedelcheva will also feature heavily in the mixed doubles and even though unseeded with partner Lilian Mihaylov should be the hot favorites to win and constitute a possible double for both Nedelcheva and Mitsova in Greece this week.
All the action kicks off in Sidirokastro this coming Thursday with the finals scheduled for Sunday. To view all the draws from this week’s Hellas International click HERE
Article and archive images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe