This week the 2009 Yonex Canadian National Championships are being held in Laval, Quebec. I am going to play this year, and I’m pretty excited about it. Last year I went but was hardly in playing shape, whereas this year I’ve actually been playing a couple times a week so I should fare a little bit better I’m hoping. Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about the tournament!
Andrew Dabeka is back this year after missing last year’s nationals, due to injury I believe (if you know otherwise let me know in the comments). While last year was a great win for David Snider, I’m sorry to say I don’t think it would have happened if Dabeka was there. Snider has yet to beat Dabeka in a tournament (again correct me if I’m wrong), and quite frankly Dabeka has been by far the most successful Canadian men’s singles player of his generation, although I’m sure we’ve yet to see the best from Snider.
In just the last few days we saw a re-draw for the men’s singles when 3/4 seed Bobby Milroy withdrew from the tournament. I haven’t spoken to Bobby, but I’m speculating there was some sort of injury : ( This is a shame, but certainly Kyle Foley will benefit as his quarter-final opponent is now Joseph Rogers instead of Bobby. Kyle was blown out by Bobby last month in Edmonton at the Alberta Open, but I’m sure he would have appreciated an opportunity to redeem himself.
On the bottom half of the men’s singles draw we’ve got Stephan Wojciekiwz and David Snider as the two big guns. David beat Stephan last year in the finals of the men’s singles so I’m sure Steph is looking forward to a re-match, that is unless I have something to say about it : )
It’s hard to say whether this year is stronger or weaker than last year. My perception of David Snider has changed as I now see him as a much stronger competitor, but overall I’m not sure it is all that much deeper. Last year there was no Dabeka, but this year Milroy is missing. We don’t have many players competing internationally right now, so the level is not as high as one would think for a national championship.
As for the other events, very little depth at all. I feel like this would be a pretty strong u23 nationals, and that may be what this is in a way as most of the players are a lot younger than they have been in previous years. But the fact that Milaine Cloutier is seeded first in women’s doubles is pretty sad for the overall state of that event. That’s in no way meant as a dig at Milaine. She has had a very good career, but she is hardly a full time badminton player, and the fact that someone who is not playing full time can be seeded first at the nationals, doesn’t bode well for the level of the sport here at home.
I’ll avoid the whole “how can we make things better” debate for now and instead just say that I am still excited for nationals as it always proves to have some exciting matches and the occasional big upset. Look forward to seeing you all there.