English Open Preview: A Closer Look at
The English Open draws are now available for download on the tournament homepage (see link to an excel document at the bottom of the page). The Men's Elite class will be decided through a tasty 32 draw. Here is a closer look at it:
Predicted quarterfinals according to the world ranking:
1) John O'Donnell (ENG, WR3) - Alex Köpf (GER, WR10)
2) Douglas Struthers (ENG, WR12) - Michi Dickert (AUT, WR6)
3) Christoph Krenn (AUT, WR8) - Johan Porsborn (SWE, WR11)
4) Rickard Persson (SWE, WR9) - Marcel Weigl (AUT, WR4)
First seed O'Donnell faces Germany's Marco Deeg in the first round. That should not be the best of "profiles" for squash specialist O'Donnell, considering the fact that Deeg is one of Germany's best squash players. In his very first Racketlon tournament (the 2006 German Open in Weiterstadt, last summer) Deeg came very close of beating the first seed of that tournament, Calum Reid, winning(!) the tennis; Reid needed 11 in the tennis to win and got them - but only just at 11-19!! In this year's German Open, held in Rüsselsheim last month, he impressed again, this time by winning the Men's Class B.
Michi Dickert will be facing Christian Wall in the first round. Both have been showing great form lately; Dickert by e.g. beating Rickard Persson in both Hungary and Switzerland and pushing no one less than Eliasson in the recent German Open, where he won both of the first disciplines;
Eliasson - Dickert +8 (tt:11-21 ba:19-21 sq:21-13 te:21-9).
And Wall, too, has impressed; first and foremost through his breakthrough at the Gothenburg Open last year (see report), where he shocked the Racketlon world by winning the whole tournament but also at the German Open last month where he upset the seedings to take a place in the final (see report).
Dickert's draw does, indeed, look generally difficult, not only because of Wall in the first round, but also (potentially, if he can get past Zwiers) because of Niclas Larsson in the second (Larsson lost by one single point to (an out-of-practice) Stefan Adamsson in the Swedish Championships a couple of months ago) and Douglas Struthers in the third. Struthers is widely considered to be the big favourite to win the whole tournament.
Krenn faces Anders Rickan in the first round. Rickan is a stable elite player that has been around for many years. He should have a good chance of winning the first three disciplines against Krenn, which, in turn, should give him a good chance to upset the seedings. Profilewise, Krenn is not ideal for Rickan, though, since his best sport (tennis) is taken away by Krenn's superior capabilities in that discipline.