POLISH INTERNATIONAL – Colourful winners

As a lot of top players are entering lesser ranked tournaments, the Polish Open saw singles players from Asia take the titles while the doubles went to Russia and England. […]

As a lot of top players are entering lesser ranked tournaments, the saw singles players from Asia take the titles while the doubles went to Russia and England.

By Janusz Rudzinski, Agnieszka Pugacewicz and Monika Plata. Photo (live): Agnieszka Pugacewicz

The Yonex Polish International was held this time in Lower Silesia (Sleza near of Wroclaw) and was a good opportunity for some players to get points needed for the Olympic qualification. In men’s singles, Hsu Jen Hao (photo, seeded 4th) from Chinese Taipei was very satisfied by his great performance. Hsu didn’t drop a single game during the tournament. He beat Dmytro Zavadsky (seeded 5) from Ukraine in the final quite comfortably.   In the semi-final, the Ukrainian had shattered the top-seeded Spaniard Pablo Abian’s hopes of defending his title in Poland while one round before Zavadsky (seeded 5) eliminated a big rival of Hsu in the Olympic race – his 3rd-seeded compatriot Hsueh Hsuan Yi.

“I did not expect to win easily, I was thinking rather of getting to the semi-final,” Hsu told Badzine correspondents. In his opinion, the toughest match was the final versus Dmytro Zawadzki. “The key to beating him was patience, good defence and lots of running. I am not very tall so I have to run fast,” explained the player from Taipei.

The men’s singles final was the only without the presence of the top seeds. Polish supporters were disappointed by the defeat of Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz  (seeded #1) in the final of the men’s doubles. Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov (photo, seeded #2) were clearly better. However, the Russians’ victory of the should be not surprising: they always are difficult opponents for the Poles and moreover Cwalina was out of practice for six weeks due to a back injury. Now the Polish duo will try to regain a good rhythm.

“We have to win  in Finland next week,” declared Cwalina.

I hope I will be hundred percent in form during the European Championships. The most important for us are the European Championships and the fact that we are still a force to be reckoned with in the Olympic qualification rivalry – said Logosz.

We have met not for the first time and we already know very well how the Poles play,” said Ivanov and analyzed the secret of Russian success: “Logosz is 34, I am 23. It is eleven years difference. For him, it is very difficult to play – not the same concentration, not the same movement as before. I think we beat them with our enthusiasm. Last year was very successful for us.  We won a few tournaments beating high ranked players. These results are very important for as we get Olympic points. This is also very important for Europe to win Olympic medals.”

Robertson and Wallwork fill the gap

Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork (seeded 1) had no problem in the final of the mixed doubles: they defeated easily their compatriots Ben Stavsky and Lauren Smith. As a matter of fact, Nathan and Jenny had no difficulties during the whole tournament. The only dangerous opponents of English pair – Robert Mateusiak and Nadia Zieba (seeded #2), playing on home soil – had to retire in semi-final stage as Zieba was injured.

Despite this success, the situation of Robertson and Wallwork is not in their favour towards the  Olympic qualification as Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier are still way ahead of the former Olympic medallist.  The European Championships will most likely be the turning point in this rivalry.

The competition in ladies’ singles was very interesting. The favourite  – Ai Goto from Japan (seeded #1, pictured here)  – only in final game proved without doubt her superiority over much taller Turkish girl Neslihan Yigit (seeded #8).

My opponent from Turkey is very tall and she can hit really powerful shots. However she is still very young whereas I am a bit more experienced so I could have applied more technical play,” explained the Japanese victor.

Yigit is the youngest [17 years old] and  the most promising female player in the Turkish first team,” explained Bulent Gurbuz, the Turkish team manager. “We were not surprised at her presence in the final because she achieved good results in the last months.”

Mariana Agathangelou and Heather Olver (England, seeded #1) defeated Eva Lee and Paula Lynn Obanana (U.S.A., seeded #3) in the women’s doubles  final.

We were a bit cagey towards the start of the tournament but today – in the final – that was the best performance we played and it came at the right time,” said the winners.

All results here

About Janusz Rudzinski