New doubles winners at the Estonian International
With none of the reigning doubles champions fighting to keep their titles in Tallinn, we will see new champions crowned at the first European tournament of the year that has kicked off today.
The YONEX Estonian International 2022 inaugurates the new year’s calendar of the European circuit in what will be a rather quiet winter for badminton making it a special event with international starts to delight fans around the globe.
For this edition, none of the reigning doubles winners will be back to keep their titles. Chiang Chien-wei/ Ye Hong-wei, Chinese Taipei, went on to win the men’s doubles title in 2020 to then repeat the feat just a week later at the Swedish Open. Rena Miyaura/ Saori Ozaki in women’s doubles and Yujiro Nishikawa/ Saori Ozaki in mixed doubles proved Japan’s success by earning their country two more titles.
More medals for former winners?
However, there’s some former medallists who will be looking to repeat their success or even improve it by claiming the title. Anton Kaisti got the bronze in 2020 together with Oskar Larkimo. The Finnish player did not have as much as a good run in men’s doubles as he did in the mixed category last year, but this year he will be taking on the challenge with Jesper Paul.
In the same way, Samy Corvee got a similar result with the bronze in 2018 in his partnership with Eloi Adam and this year he will be attending the event in Tallinn with Yanis Gaudin as fourth seeds.
Many opportunities for the home talents
Kristjan Kaljurant/ Raul Käsner, who got to last year’s Latvia International and Lithuanian International semifinals, and seeded Tauri Kilk and Mihkel Talts, are the host’s strongest pairs, while young Estonian talents such as Oskar Männik/ Rannar Zirk and Andrei Schmidt/ Hugo Themas will be looking to show their talent on home soil.
If there is a home pair who is bound to put up a good fight in their efforts to take to the podium, that is Kati-Kreet Marran/ Helina Rüütel. Helina Rüütel already got a medal in 2017 with Kristin Kuuba and could have a good chance of reaching the podium again with Marran. The pair gave some good performances in last year’s European circuit and were the runner-ups in the Portuguese International Championships 2020.
The Estonian pair could be facing Viktoriia Kozyreva/ Mariia Sukhova later on in the semifinals. The Russian duo got some important wins last year and even claimed the title at the Slovenia Future Series. Asia will also have representation in the category with pairs such as Singapore’s Yujia Jin/ Wong Jia Ying Crystal and second seeded Chasinee Korepap/ Jhenicha Sudjaipraparat, Thailand.
An interesting mixed doubles draw
When looking at the mixed doubles draw, Russia stands out as the nation with the most representatives, with duos including young talents such as Lev Barinov/ Anastasiia Boiarun and Alexandr Zinchenko/ Viktoriia Kozyreva. France is yet another country with good chances of reaching the decisive stages.
Estonian International 2019 champion Danny Bawa Chrisnanta is back in the event. This year, the Singaporean player will be playing with Zhi Rui Bernice Lim to try and take the title again in the same category. The Singaporean duo’s first opponents will be Kristjan Kaljurand/ Helina Rüütel, one of the host’s strongest pairs. Another duo representing Estonia in this category are Oskar Männik/ Ramona Üprus.