Dutch badmintonplayers battling it out at the German Open 2018
The Innogy Sporthalle in Mulheim an der Ruhr is the stage for the German Open 2018 this week. The World Tour Super 300 tournament has a prize purse of US$ 150.000 and eleven Dutchies are vying for part of the money pie.
In singles only two Dutch players made the cut, with Gayle Mahulette (WR85) starting out in the qualification tournament on Tuesday. The three time Dutch champ was listed as a reserve player but now gets to play against Indonesia's Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky (WR57). Ranking wise it'll be more than an uphill battle, but a girl can dream. (Beyonce certainly did in the 2006 movie Dreamgirls.)
Iris Tabeling and her Bulgarian partner Alex Vlaar (WR99) also have to play qualifications and will face Chang Ko-Chi and Cheng Chi Ya (Chinese Taipei, WR142). Both Asians have ranked as high as top 75, so the Dutch-Bulgarian pair will have their work cut out for them.
Unseeded Mark Caljouw in same half as Lin Dan
Mark (WR39) is awarded an opponent from the qualifications and should he win Wednesday's first round he's likely to face Ng Ka Long Angus (WR9) from Hong Kong. The two played each other at the 2015 Sudirman Cup with Angus taking the win in three games. Ranking wise Mark is very much the underdog in this tournament, on the other hand he's also one of those players who are easily underestimated.
Mixed doubles Tuesday
The first day of the tournament is limited to qualifications and the first round in mixed doubles. First seeds are Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet from Hong Kong (WR5) and there's not a single European pair to be seen in any of the remaining seven (!) seeding positions. How about Swiss Open 2018 winners Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich (Germany, WR19)? Well... unseeded af1...
Arends and Piek up against former world number one
So how about our compatriots? The Olympian pair starts at 17:00 and there's a Danish combo up ahead: Jacco Arends and Selena Piek (WR28) will have to outplay Joachim Fisher Nielsen and Alexandra Boje (WR1634).
One shouldn't attach any value to that rediculous ranking: Boje ranked as high as WR59 in October last year with another partner and 'granddad' Fischer Nielsen is all in the know when it comes to being world number one. That's a different level of experience altogether!
A-game required for Tabeling and Seinen
Robin Tabeling and Cheryl Seinen (WR45) are relatively new to this tournament level while their first round opponents are not. Hsu Ya Ching and Lee Yang from Chinese Taipei (WR33) are ranked quite a bit higher and Yang is world number 7 in men's doubles.
It'll be very interested what Tabeling and Seinen are going to bring to the forefront during their European-Asian confrontation. Anything less than their A-game will be the difference between standing a chance and being without.
Japanese versatility vs Dutch grit
Imke van der Aar - in lieu of Debora Jille - is the benjamin of the Dutch team on Tuesday's afternoon and she'll have to build on Jelle Maas' experience, the pair being ranked number 67th right now.
Japan decided to throw together a brand new pairing: Takuro Hoki (WR42 with another partner) and Mayu Matsumoto (virtually no mixed doubles experience but WR15 in women's doubles). If you want to wager a bet, who would you put your money on?
Other pairs this week
- MD: Jacco Arends & Ruben Jille, Jelle Maas & Robin Tabeling
- WD: Selena Piek & Cheryl Seinen, Debora Jille & Imke van der Aar
1 = as fuck
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