Petr Koukal continued his reign today with another successful win on his home turf. He defeated Chinese Taipei’s Jen Hao Hsu in straight games, 21-10, and 21-12. Koukal has had a very successful year so far and is only getting better. This is incredible as no less than a year and a half ago Koukal was being treated for Cancer. But with the Cancer out of the way the Czech National champ is set to win his home title. Also in the men’s singles, top seed Przemyslaw Wacha had a three set epic with Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono. Andre took the first set 21- 18, but Wacha took control and won the next two sets 21-13, and 21-15. India’s Arvind Bhat had quite the scare in the form of fifth seeded Dmytro Zavadsky of Ukraine. Bhat came out on top, 18-21, 21-16, and 21-15. But Bhat’s success would not go too far as Wacha met him in the semi-final and overtook him 18-21, 21-12, and 21-3. Wacha will play Koukal for the title tomorrow.
In the women’s singles Czech star Kristina Gavnholt continued her run into the final. She won the semi-final match against Estonia’s Karoline Hoim, 21-8, and 21-13. Kristina has had a very successful tournament so far winning all her matches without dropping a set. Tomorrow she will face Arundhati Pantawane of India for the Czech International title. Arundhati paved her way to the final by defeating France’s third seeded Sashina Vignes Waran.
Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz have kept their form this tournament, winning their semi-final against Chinese Taipei’s duo of Kan Hao Liao and Jui Wei Liang. The match went the distance with the Polish pair coming out in the end, 17-21, 21-18, and 21-9. On the other half of the draw, Russian pair of Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko took out another Chinese Taipei team to reach the final. The Russian pair defeated Po Yi Huang and Chia Bi Lu in straight sets, 21-14, and 21-18. The final tomorrow will be Poland’s Cwalina/Logosz against Russia’s Durkin/Nikolaenko.
There will be another Russian team in the women’s doubles final tomorrow. Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova earned their place in the final, defeating Jillie Cooper and Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland, 16-21, 21-12, and 21-8. Canadians will also have someone to cheer for in the final, as Charmain Reid and Nicole Grether will also be headed to the final tomorrow after defeating Sweden’s Sanne Ekberg and Amanda Hogstrom. It was an impressive performance by the Canadian pair taking the match in straight sets, 21-8, and 21-8.
Russia’s doubles stars Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina will both be in their second final of the day as they defeated Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-17, and 21-11. Nikolaenko will also be in the Men’s doubles final, as well as Sorokina will also be in the Women’s doubles final. This will give Russia the opportunity to capitalize on a double crown chance for both Nikolaenko and Sorokina. Underdogs Gert Kunka (Estonia) and Amanda Hogstrom (Sweden) made a miracle run to the final after defeating France’s Labar Ronan and Laura Choinet, 21-18, and 24-22.
Czech badminton fans have a good reason to be joyous right now, as the Czech International Grand Prix started off with a bang this week. Poland’s men’s singles number one Przemyslaw Wacha, is also the top seed in the men’s singles event. He slipped by two of India’s top players, both in straight games, in the first and second round of the tournament. Czech fans have even more reasons to rejoice as Czech star Petr Koukal ousted second-seeded Brice Leverdez of France in two sets, 21-14, 21-17.
In the women’s singles, top seed Nicole Grether of Canada (Formerly of Germany) saw an early exit from the tournament as she was defeated by Arundhati Pantawane of India, 21-19, and 21-18. Another hometown hero, Kristina Gavnholt advanced to the next stage of the tournament defeating Italy’s Orsolya Varga, and Norway’s Sara Kverno . Kristina won both matches in straight sets.
Poland, Russia, France, and Chinese Taipei all share an equal presence in the men’s doubles quarter finals, each with two teams remaining in the tournament. The second round in the women’s doubles is far more diverse with teams from at least six nations are still in the tournament. Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid, Canada’s experienced pair triumphed over Natalia Pocztowiak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-6, and 21-4.
There few surprises in the mixed doubles. Qualifiers Paul Van Rietvelde (Scotland) and Lim Alyssa (England) defeated English compatriots Chris Coles and Jessica Fletcher, 21-18, and 22-20.