Poles hunting down a hat trick
The French International in Orleans has become a mainstay of the Badminton Europe circuit over the past few years with the French organisers delivering a top quality event from organisation to delivery since the events inception in 2012.
Like the tournament itself the consistent and high achieving Polish men’s doubles pair of Adam Cwalina & Przemyslaw Wacha (pictured) will attempt a hat trick of title in the men’s doubles after victories in 2013 and 2014.
The Poles however have been handed a tough draw with French pair Mittelheisser/Kersaudy, Scottish GP winners Daugaard/Christiansen and English hopefuls Ellis/Mills hunting them down as early as round 2. The French will also look to second seeds Labar/Careme to give the large home support something to shout about in what is always an entertainment spectacle on finals day.
Sashina motivated to go one better
The French organisers and fans will also look to Sashina Vignes Waran to go one better than her runners up position in 2014. Since its inception in 2012 the Orleans International is still looking for its first home winner and certainly the French number 1 has the armouring to final put a French name on top of the honours list.
Once again Spain’s Beatriz Corrales, who incidentally plays her club badminton in France, will be the main threat to a home French women’s singles win. Corrales herself will be motivated by the opportunity of getting a hat trick of French International wins after victories in 2013 & 2014.
Others likely to figure will be Delphine Lansac, Stefani Stoeva and recent Romanian International winner, Belgian number one Lianne Tan.
Open book in Men’s singles
The men’s singles draw represents a real opportunity for a winner to emerge from the pack. Top seed Tedjono is world class on his day and will be favourite to win and even as second seed it will be difficult to expect Henri Hurskainen to be on his ‘A’ game with this his first tournament back after injury. As Always Ville Lang will arrive in Orleans with a lot of expectation on his shoulders but we will only know after round 1 if Lang is there with the mentality to win. Certainly Yuhan Tan will have the 2014 Scottish Open GP winner thinking from the outset.
France will look to Rouxel & Corvee to trouble the fancied players and don’t be surprised if Italian based Indonesian Indra Bagus Ade Chandra come out on top after his runners up spot in Romania two weeks ago.
In the women’s doubles the Stoeva Sisters will be hot favourites and will certainly be buoyed by their recent career high world ranking of 15. A large French entry will add to the competitive flavour and Lansac and Lefel will be another hoping to make the podium come finals day. The French have been one of the most improved pairs on the circuit this past year and after a series of top class and consistent performances are overdue a circuit win.
Team England will look to the Olver/Smith and Brown/Robertshaw combinations to push hard for a medal and it certainly would not be a shock to see an all English women’s doubles final.
Consistency key for Mittelheisser & Fontaine
Finally the French will once again feel the mixed doubles represents a real opportunity for a home win at the Orleans French International. The top two seeded pairs are French and justifiable so. On and off court couple Gaetan Mittleheisser & Audrey Fontaine have had 10 quarter finals or better in the past year but still await that illusive win with their runners up spot at the Italian Intl at end of 2014 being their best result. Second seeds Labar & Lefel, who were a mainstay of the French team at the recent European mixed team championships, will be hoping that they are the French pair to finally top the podium. Standing in the way of the French will be the much anticipated first tournament appearance of Imogen Bankier and Robert Mateusiak who also incidentally play together in the French league for Chambly.
For full draws and results from Orleans click HERE.
Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.