16.08.2020 - Vienna, Austria
The dominance of international teams at the 2020 German Tour completed its fifth week on Sunday, when Swiss stars Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli won the third event for the women in Hamburg. In each of the first five events of the German Tour season – three for the women and two for the men -, as least one international player stepped at the top of the podium.
Among the women, Swiss teams have been the thorn in the side for German players as Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré won the season-opening tournament while Hüberli joined Isabel Schneider to triumph in the second one. Both male events have seen a Dutch at the top of the podium as Steven van de Velde joined Lukas Pfretzschner and Alexander Brouwer paired with Julius Thole to succeed.
This week’s tournament, the first in Hamburg after four consecutive ones in Düsseldorf saw Betschart and Hüberli prevail after they defeated Kim Behrens and Cinja Tillmann in straight sets (21-12, 21-17) in the gold medal match. Karla Borger/Julia Sude and Sandra Ittlinger/Chantal Laboureur finished third.
“After such a long time since we last played, it was hard to know what was the level we were at”, Nina said after their victory. “We didn’t know what would work and where we’d be a little bit rusty, so it was a very good start and now we have a few more tournaments coming to focus on.”
This week’s tournament also determined the final two teams qualified to the German Championships, which will take place in Timmerdorf Strand from September 3-6. The duos of Antonia Stautz/Leonie Welsch and Sarah Overländer/Lena Overländer were undefeated in the “Road to Timmerdorf” tournament and secured their spots.
The women will now only return to the sand at the German Championships, but the men will play their third and final tournament in Hamburg next week.
Stam and Schoon three-peat winners in the Netherlands
The third event of the Dutch Tour in Zaanstad saw another chapter of the continued dominance of the up-and-coming Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam, who won all three events of the season so far.
The 18-year-old Schoon and the 21-year-old Stam gave yet another display of their potential as they defeated the 2018 European champions Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink in straight sets (21-13, 22-20) to take gold. It was their third-straight victory against the veterans this season.
“We are just having a lot of fun and playing each point with everything we have,” Schoon reflected. “And we’re very happy with what we are been able to accomplish.”
Bronze went to Emma Piersma and Esmee Priem, who downed the van Driel sisters Emi and Mexime in the tie-breaker (23-21, 20-22, 15-8).
Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot secured their second title in eight days as they returned to the top of the podium after winning last weekend’s tournament in Almelo after a 21-14, 15-21, 15-13 victory over Jasper Bouter and Ruben Penning in the final.
Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Alexander Brouwer couldn’t play with regular partner Robert Meeuwsen, who’s recovering from a rib injury, and he joined forces with 19-year-old Matthew Immers for the tournament. The duo finished with a bronze medal after they defeated Dirk Boehlé and Mart van Werkhoven 22-20, 21-11.
“It was nice to see he has a great vision of the court when he hits the ball,”Brouwer said about his temporary partner.
The apex of the Dutch National season will happen next weekend, when the National Championships will take place in Scheveningen.