Magee’s claim maiden title in Medvode
It has been almost a year since Sam and Joshua Magee claimed bronze medal at the inaugural European Games in Baku. Today the Irish pair lifted the Slovenian International title to claim their first circuit title as a pair in a very tight three game match against Danish opponents Soogard Mortensen and Bay-Smidt.
The Irish came into the tournament as top seeds but in a tough side of the men’s doubles draw the victory was never going to be easy. The Magee’s semi-final win over Vendy and Lane of England signaled a good vein of form for the brothers but they needed all their experience in today’s final against the developing Danes.
The Irish took the opening set without breaking a sweat 21-9 but as expected the Danes bounced back to level the match with a 22-20 win in the second. The third the game was balanced at 17-17 before the Irish seized the initiative taking three unanswered points to get to match point 20-17. The Danes did rally but the Irish were not to be outdone on this occasion taking the win 21-17 and with it their first title as a pair.
“We are obviously over the moon to get this first title together. It was a close final and we are delighted to come out the right side of score line today. Our level is improving and we showed a good consistent high level this week” said Sam Magee after the victory.
There was also a first win as a pair for England’s Chloe Birch and Sarah Walker in the women’s doubles. The fourth seeds beat Cheryl Seinen and Jessica Pugh into silver in a close match 22-20 21-19. Mikkel Mikkelsen and Mai Surrow lifted their second title as a pair in only their fourth tournament together. The Danes won in Portugal a few short weeks ago and this week lifted the mixed doubles title without dropping a set along the way.
Merrilees puts his Christmas nightmare behind him for good
Christmas 2015 was an horrific time for Scotland’s Kieran Merrilees. In a freak domestic accident, the Scot jeopardised his entire career after severely damaging his racket which almost ended his playing days.
Just five months later Merrilees (pictured above) had put that incident firmly behind him by lifting the Slovenian International men’s singles title today. The Scot’s toughest match came in the very opening round where he was taken to three sets by Rasmus Messerschmidt of Denmark.
Every round thereafter Merrilees grew in stature and eased to the title with a 21-14 21-16 win over Adi Pratama of Indonesia.
“I am very happy to win here in Slovenia. Even though I was not seeded I still felt I was one of the ones to beat this week. I dealt with the pressure very well this week and now I can look forward to building my ranking again next season after my nightmare accident at Christmas where I was unsure I would ever pay again”
Denmark’s Julie Dawall Jakobsen (pictured above) has proven to be one of the circuit players of 2016. Her win in Iceland at the beginning of the year was capped off by her first senior international cap for Denmark in Kazan at the European women’s team championship. Today the European junior silver medallist from 2015 continued her winning ways lifting the Slovenian title in dominant fashion beating Sophie Holmboe Dahl in two games 21-15 21-7.
Jakobsen now heads towards the top 100 in the world and is shaping up as a talent to watch out after winning the title without dropping a set.
For all results from the 2016 Slovenian International click HERE
Article by Mark Phelan Photos courtesy of Slovenian International 2016