Magical 7 days for Christiansen
It has been seven days to remember for Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen (main picture) winning three titles spanning two tournaments. The Danish doubles specialist, who will partner Mathias Boe as a wild card pair at the European Championships coming up at the end of the month, lifted back to back mixed titles at the Orleans international last week and followed up that win with success in both mixed and doubles this morning in Finland.
Christiansen was first on court this morning in the mixed doubles and alongside Lena Grebak beat reigning European Games Champions Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen in a close three set all Danish final. Grebak, a previous mixed winner in Finland alongside Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, has always been a clear fan of the Vantaa court and as a pair with Christiansen have now elevated themselves to be one of the pairs to beat on the European circuit.
While one of the favourites to lift the mixed title the win in men’s doubles for Christiansen alongside long term partner David Daugaard will have a slightly sweeter taste after finishing as runners up in 2015. It has been a turbulent 18 months for the Danes since winning the Scottish Open GP in 2014 but success in Sweden in January and now in Finland has put the Danes back on track as ones to watch for the future in Danish men’s doubles.
In today’s final Christiansen and Daugaard beat top seeds Cwalina & Wacha of Poland in three games.
Denmark gained a hat trick of victories in Finland with Anna Thea Madsen (pictured above) getting a timely boost to her confidence ahead of the European Championships in France. Madsen of course won silver at the last European Championships in Kazan behind Carolina Marin, and can now travel to France safe in the knowledge that her game is in good shape after securing the Finnish Open title this morning.
After losing the opening game 21-19 to Japan’s Rira Kawashima the title looked beyond the Dane with four match points against her in the second. But the fighting qualities of Madsen pulled her through to save that second game and take it 25-23 before sealing a most unlikely victory with a 21-12 win in the deciding set.
Madsen was clearly delighted as she posted on her official Facebook page straight after the victory. “Winner of Finnish Open 2016 after a tough match and a comeback! #happygirl #nevergiveup”
A strong Japanese team got just rewards for their endeavors this week lifting both the men’s singles and women’s doubles titles in Vantaa. Kanta Tsuneyama beat Rio bound and tournament top seed Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam in two easy games while Aratana and Watanabe lifted the women’s doubles title beating Dutch pair Iris Tabeling and Samantha Barning in the final in two games.
To catch up on all the action from the Finish Open finals on Badminton Europe’s Youtube channel click HERE
For all results from the Finnish Open finals click HERE
Article and Images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe