Van Leeuwen Lado 1200

28 May, 2023

Ethan van Leeuwen and Annie Lado were crowned mixed doubles champions following a sterling weekend of action at the Austrian Open in Graz.

Seeded eighth in the draw, Van Leeuwen and Lado battled through two hotly-contested matches before beating Polish pairing Pawel Smilowski and Magdalena Swierczynska in the last eight.

That saw them set up an all-English semi-final against Callum Hemming and Estelle van Leeuwen, who were seeded sixth and had not dropped a game on their way to the last eight.

However it was the eighth seeds who booked their spot in the final, turning on the style in a 21-18 21-8 triumph that put them in the gold medal match against Malaysia’s Lim Tze Jian and Desiree Siow.

And Van Leeuwen and Lado were by far and away the strongest pair in the final, easing their way to a 21-13 21-13 victory to claim the title.

Brandon Yap and Abbygael Harris were also in mixed doubles action, beaten by fourth seeds Miha Ivancic and Petra Polanc 21-15 21-16 in round 1.

England Match Austrian Open 1200

Elsewhere, Rory Easton and Zach Russ had a strong run to the last four of the men’s doubles competition.

Having entered as top seeds, Easton and Russ defeated compatriots Samuel Jones and Steven Stallwood in the opening round, the latter pairing having come through qualifying.

Easton Russ would go on to comfortably beat fifth seeds Chen Zhi Ray and Lu Chen in their last eight encounter, before falling 7-21 22-20 21-16 in a tough encounter against Low Hang Yee and Ng Eng Cheong.

Hemming and Ethan van Leeuwen were also in men’s doubles action, the seventh seeds reaching the quarter-final stage before losing to Lwi Sheng Hao and Jimmy Wong.

Another notable performance was that of Lado and Harris, who were seeded third in the women’s doubles draw and made it all the way to the final four.

Lado and Harris made short work of their first two matches, and were 14-4 up in the deciding game when quarter-final opponents Malena Norrman and Lia Salehar were forced to retire.

That booked them a last four encounter against top seeds Liu Chiao-Yun and Wang Yu Qiao, and ultimately it was the Chinese Taipei pairing who edged their way to a 15-21 21-9 21-18 victory.

Meanwhile, Lizzie Tolman and Estelle van Leeuwen impressed as they reached the last eight despite being unseeded, and pushed fifth seeds Hsu Yin-Hui and Lee Chih Chen all the way in a 21-12 17-21 21-18 loss.

Johnnie Torjussen headlined men’s singles action after winning two qualifying matches to be added to the main draw prior to his last match in qualification..

He beat Jonathan Dolan 21-19 21-8 in his opening match before a loss to second seed and eventual champion Julien Carraggi in round 2, while Rohan Midha was beaten by Enogat Roy in round 1.

Imagery courtesy of Austrian Open

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