Bolotova doubles up in Kaunas
Coming into this week’s Yonex Lithuanian International, Russia’s Eketerina Bolotova (main picture left) was hotly tipped to come away with at least one title. Bolotova has been a main stay of the Russian national team in recent years and in truth is probably boxing well below her weight this close season at future series level on the circuit.
The now experienced Russian, a women’s doubles specialist for her country, partnered up with the up and coming Anastasiia Semenova (main picture right) and although an untested partnership delivered as many thought they would taking the women’s doubles title.
The Russian pair cruised to the title today without dropping a set and easily saw off compatriots Kut and Serebriakova in two games 21-14 21-9.
"I’m so happy to be winner in the women’s doubles here in Lithuania. It was my second tournament with Ekaterina. In the final we played with another Russian pair who are one of the strong pairs of Russia but Daria (Serebrialova) was suffering with a hand injury so made it a bit easier for us. Altogether it was a very successful tournament for me. Also I am happy that I took third place in women’s singles." Anastasia Semenova
It was certainly a case of two out of three aint bad for the Russian who added the mixed title to the women’s doubles title after playing in three events in Kaunas. Denis Grachev was the lucky sidekick as the Russians beat Smilowski and Swierczynska of Poland in the final 21-11 21-16.
The cream always rises to the top and Ekaterina Bolotova was certainly that cream this week in Kaunas.
Second Lithuanian title for Lehikoinen while second in a week for Komendrovskaja
It was certainly a case of ‘bouncebackability’ for Finland’s Kasper Lehikoinen (pictured above) this week in Lithuania. The Finn had lost last week’s final in Latvia but the signs were there that a title was not far away. It took Lehikoinen just 7 days to put right the wrongs on last week as he powered to the Lithuanian title.
The Finn beat Russia Sergey Sirant in today’s final and did it as efficiently as possible in two games. It was a near perfect week for Lehikoinen as he marched to the title, his second in Lithuania, without dropping a set.
“Lithuanian has been good to me with this my second title, it’s like my second home” said the Finn via his Facebook page.
Russia’s Elana Komendrovskaja went one step better than Lehikoinen. The Russian singles player went back to back this afternoon adding the Lithuanian title to the Latvian title she won just seven days ago and like Lehikoinen did it all without dropping a set. Impressive indeed from the Russian.
As expected the vastly experienced Polish duo Moren and Szkudlarczyk marked their return as a pair by lifting the men’s doubles title. The Poles were pushed to the wire in today’s final coming through in three games against Ivanov and Nazarenko of Russia.
The Poles will no doubt be delighted with their return to the circuit and only time will tell if they go on to take over as the top Polish pair with the time of Cwalina & Wacha most likely drawing to a close after the Rio Olympics.
For all results from today’s finals in Kaunas click HERE
Article and archive images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe — podium photo Salvijus Stravinskas.