Against Tan Qiang/Zhou Hao Dong in the Denmark Open 2023 first round, Mark Lamsfuss looked as if he had never left the court.
Lamsfuss and partner Marvin Seidel showed some class badminton, coming back from a game down to win 17-21 21-16 21-17.
Lamsfuss had endured a trying period in recent months. A knee injury in June forced the reigning European men’s and mixed doubles champion into surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation. In the months that followed, he participated at a few tournaments but struggled to reach his full potential. He also skipped last week’s Arctic Open due to not being fully fit.
“I’m improving nutrition again, having a lot of physio treatments, and I have to say they’ve done a great job. A lot of doctor appointments and with my physical coach as well, so it was a lot that we have done so we could win today,” said the 29-year-old.
He then added playfully: “I’m in a better shape and can play without any painkillers.
“My goal now is to play good badminton, to enjoy it again, and not put too much pressure on myself especially because of the Olympic qualification. When the knee is good, we will have good results.”
In the next round, Lamsfuss/Seidel could potentially face home favourites and World Championships silver medallists Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen. The Arctic Open winners are in stellar form, and the German duo will need to be at their best to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
Seidel shared his excitement for the potential showdown: “We are looking forward to it, especially because they are in a good shape now. It would be a good test for our game and to see where we are at. Also, for the spectators, European matchups are always nice.”
Meanwhile, Astrup/Rasmussen’s compatriots, the ever-improving Rasmus Kjaer and Frederik Sogaard picked up their maiden win over a top five pair against seconds seeds Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang in their first match together at the Denmark Open.
“We were just excited to be here because we missed it last year. It’s been a while since both of us played this event so it was a nice week to forward to after a disappointing (semifinal) lost (at Arctic Open),” said Kjaer following the 18-21 21-19 21-18 win.
*Reporting in collaboration with Badminton Europe
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