A look back at a memorable 2019
As 2020 starts and everyone is preparing for the new season, let's take a look back on the outstanding players of 2019, and their achievements on the ITSF World Tour.
In the Open category Tony Spredeman matched up to his reputation as the world's top player with an outstanding year, winning Open Singles in 7 of his 8 ITSF tournaments, including the Leonhart World Series and the Tornado Hall of Fame. Tony sealed the first spot in both Open Singles and Open Combined, as well as taking second place in the Open Doubles rankings behind Germany’s Benjamin Struth. The Open Singles podium is completed by Germany's Thomas Haas, and Bonzini World Series Open Singles winner Yannick Correia of Luxembourg.
The battle for the top Women Singles spot was hotly disputed, with there being only 18 points between the winner Susanne Holocher and runner-up My Linh Tran (both from Germany), with Blagovesta Gerova from Bulgaria in third place. The Women Doubles category was dominated by Romania's Ecaterina Sarbulescu, who together with partner My Linh Tran made it to the top 3 at both the Leonhart and Garlando World Series events. My Linh's excellent season also included winning Women Doubles at the World Cup (together with Lilly Andres) and a silver medal in the World Cup with the Germany Women's national team. Third place was claimed by Germany's Nina Schutz.
In the Junior rankings as with the Junior disciplines at the World Cup & World Championships, Germany’s outstanding youth program dominated - Adrian Brustein takes first place, Erik Brustein in second place and Michel Klaffke in third place. In the Junior Doubles, the same three players shuffle around on the podium - Erik Brustein in first place, Michel Klaffke in second place and Adrian Brustein in third.
In the Senior rankings Klaus Gottesleben of Germany sealed the first place in both Singles and Doubles at the end of a fantastic year which also saw the German Senior national team winning the World Cup. The podium for Senior Singles is completed with Christophe Arcelin from France in second place and Matthias Toller in third place. Ulrich Stoepel in second place and Matthias Toller in third place join Klaus on the Senior Doubles podium.
In the second year of the ITSF's Mixed Doubles ranking (a player favourite), the top spot went to Hungary’s Andrea Ikervari, followed by Ecaterina Sarbulescu, with Benjamin Struth in third place. Andrea Ikervari also won the Women's European Champions League with club Eintracht Frankfurt.
- Twan Hermans from the Netherlands, who took 1st place in Men Singles and 2nd place in Men Doubles (with Mark Dost) at the World Championships;
- Adrian Zamora from the USA, who won Senior Singles and Senior Doubles at the World Championships (with Garret Scherkenbach);
- Belgium’s Michael Smulders, who was winner in both Disabled Singles and Disabled Doubles (with Michael Van Houtte) at the World Championships. Both also were part of the Belgian national team that won the World Cup in the Disabled category.