Monday sees the beginning of the US Open in California with several high profile players making the trip. Last years winner Andrew Dabeka has returned to defend his title and is ranked seventh in the Mens Singles.

Chinese great Gao Ling is playing Women’s Doubles this week and is seeded 2 with her partner Wei Lili. Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan are also back to retain their Men’s Doubles title and are ranked 7th.

However, the main attraction is in the Men’s Singles with top seed Taufik Hidayat. The Indonesian is in outstanding form with a win in India and making the final of the Indonesian Super Series just 3 weeks ago. Only second seed Dicky Palyama is seeded within the World’s top 20, but Palyama has unfortunately withdrawn from the tournament.

The Women’s Singles seeds are dominated by North Americans, with Anna Rice (World Ranked 49), Charmaine Reid (World Ranked 51), and three American’s also seeded for the event.

The second and third seed from the Women’s Singles will also team up this week in the Women’s Doubles with Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether taking the top seed in the event.

Qualifying begins on Monday, with the Main draw starting on Tuesday.

2009 Yonex OCBC US Open Draws

No, this isn’t the “All England Final”, but we have an all Englishman final. Tomorrow Carl Baxter and Rajiv Ouseph will have a rematch from the English National Championship final when they meet in the final of the Canadian International Badminton Championship.

Baxter, formally playing from Canada, now represents England, and today he defeated Canada’s Stephan Wojcikiewicz 21-13, 27-25. Baxter and Steph used to train together at the RA Center in Ottawa, and their other former training partner Andrew Dabeka lost in the quarter finals to Rajiv Ouseph. In the semi-finals Rajiv beat Canada’s David Snider 21-19, 21-15. David upset France’s top player Brice Leverdez 21-11, 13-21, 23-21 to book his spot in the semis.

My money is on Baxter for tomorrow. While he is unlikely to beat Ouseph most of the time, I think Baxter will be the crowd favourite tomorrow, and that should help lift his level of play just enough to take out Ouseph.

2009 MELS Atwater Canadian International Draws

Here is the line up for the men’s singles final:

Andrew Dabeka vs David Snider

dabeka_snider

The guys are just warming up now, will have updates soon. You may have to refresh the page to see the updates

Update #1
David is leading at the first interval 11-8

snider_final

Update #2
Dabeka leading 14-13 in the first.

Update #3
Dabeka just won the first game 21-15, they are now in the first game interval
dabeka_interval

Update #4
Dabeka is leading 11-8 in the second game interval. David looks worried, he doesn’t seem to be too confident on the court.

Update #5
Dabeka is leading 19-11, his defense is winning this game for him, he has had 3 or 4 rallies where he made some massive saves that have really been the difference. If it weren’t for these rallies the momentum would be way different.

Update #6
Dabeka just won the second game and the match, he was clearly the stronger player today.
dabeka_won

2009 Yonex Canadian National Championships – Men’s Singles Draws

Here is the line up for the mens singles semi-finals:

Andrew Dabeka vs Joseph Rogers – court 1

andrew_joseph

Stephan Wojcikiewicz vs David Snider – court 2

david_steph

The matches are just starting now with David and Andrew leading by a couple in the first few rallies (in their respective matches that is)

Update #1
Andrew is making short work of Joseph, leading 9-2 while court 2 is Steph leading 8-6. By the way I might not be able to do anymore pictures as my iPhone is my camera and is dying.

Update #2
Joseph gained back some ground, it’s now 10-7 for Andrew. The other match is 10-10.

Update #3
Andrew leads 15-9 while David leads 15-13.

Update #4
David leads 16-15 while Andrew leads 18-12. The lines here are impossible to call, if you have played here you know what I mean.

Update #5
Andrew just won the first game 21-13. Joe made a lot of errors, he didn’t seem nervous, but Andrew was doing a really good job of keeping the pressure on.

Court two tied 21 all, very tight game, both players are doing well, not many errors here.

Update #6
David just won the first game 23-21.

Update #7
Andrew is leading 11-4 at the second game interval. Court 2 is tied 7 all.

Update #8
David leads 14-13 while Andrew leads 14-9

Update #9
David and Steph tied at 18, with Andrew leading 19-13. ps if anyone is actually reading these updates live please leave a comment so I know I’m not wasting my time.

Update #10
Andrew won, and David just won as well… Looks like we’ll be seeing Andrew and David in the finals tomorrow.
2009 Yonex Canadian National Championships Mens Singles Draws

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.

Andrew Dabeka Diving

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.

2009 Yonex Canadian National Championships Draws

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