German Sönke Kaatz and Croatian youngster Gala Zukić proved themselves winners of the singles categories at last weekend’s Dutch Open in Baarn. During this ICO 500-series tournament almost 90 players from all over Europe participated in the various ICO categories. And even for eliminated players, there was enough fun on the Sunday with a ‘fun’ tournament.
High match level at 4th ICO Crossminton Dutch Open
The Dutch crossminton federation, CNL, succesfully organized a Dutch Open in the city of Baarn on December 14 and 15. This year, the pre-christmas tournament didn’t have the snowy ambiance like two years ago, but the atmosphere was probably as good. On the courts, the matches were of high level, which made the temperature and heartbeats rise in racketcentrum de Geeren. There were a lot of close matches, fantastic rallies and displays of great sports(wo)manship. Most categories played ended up with a surprising winner: in only two out of six categories, the topseed won the title.
Kaatz and Zukić victorious in singles
The tournament organization had to cope with a true disappointment after last minute withdrawal of top seed Daniel Knoflíček. There were however five other top-20 contestants left, so the organization wasn’t worried about the crossminton level that would be displayed. Third seed German Sönke Kaatz played a fantastic final against Nico Franke – after winning an even fantastic semifinal from David Zimmermanns. It was a final like one should be: three close, spectacular sets with fantastic, high speed rallies. Kaatz ultimately beat Franke after trailing a set: 13-16 16-13 17-15.
In the ladies draw, unseeded youngster Gala Zukić proved to be in momentum. The Croatian didn’t drop a set until the second set of the final against German topseed Celien Bosma. It looked like Zukić would winning the tournament flawlessly, but Bosma stepped up and took the second set. Zukić kept her cool and got Bosma ultimately on her knees by 16-11 10-16 16-10.
German and French one-twos in (mixed) doubles
Unfortunately, there weren’t enough inscriptions to start the ladies doubles. But like with the singles matches, the doubles categories had spectacular matches. Maybe even more spectacular. In the open doubles and mixed doubles, there were two one-twos winning the gold and silver. In the open doubles, all medals were divided by German contestants. Nico Franke and David Zimmermanns won in an amazing final with 16-14 13-16 16-11 from Jonas Jöhnk and Michael Von Lennep.
In mixed doubles the French were reigning: Samuel Cado and Audrey Branellec benefited by the walkover they got in the semifinal against Boubacar and Andrea Diallo. After the gifted extra rest they won in an exciting final from fellow ‘Bleus’ Julie Guyot and Charly Peltier: 16-12 11-16 16-10.
The Dutch crossminton federation organized a ‘fun’ tournament on Sunday. Meant for recreational players, beginners and eliminated players from the ICO tournament. A sweet and fun way for these players to still be able to play some matches on Sunday while watching the finals and provide novices some crossminton experience.