The upsets continue in the womens singles with both the first and second seeds falling at the quarter-finals stage. It started with first seeded Nicole Grether falling to Oka Hitomi in three close games 18-21, 21-16, 21-15. Next was the Canadian youngster Michelle Li upsetting veteran Swiss shuttler Jeanine Cicognini in a thriller 17-21, 21-19, 21-19. Cicognini had the advantage at the end of the match, but Li managed to turn the tide at the very end to win.
The only upset on paper to happen in the mens singles was the loss of Daniel Paiola of Brazil to local hopeful David Snider, however based on the performance from Snider it appeared that Paiola was outclassed the entire time losing in two quick games 21-8, 21-14. Top seeded Brice Leverdez struggled to take his quarter-final match against Canada’s Dan Kai. The French player had to fight back from one game down to force a third game. Trailing 13-15 he quickly shifted the momentum taking seven straight points before winning the third game and taking the match 19-21, 21-13, 21-18.
All was well in the mens doubles for the seeds as all four of the seeds remain heading into the semi-final stage. Dutch pair Ruud Bosch and Roen Kidder won easily over Canadian champions Jon Vandervet and Alvin Lau 21-15, 21-13 to set up their next match against recent Peru International champions Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng who also had a fairly straightforward win over Darren Hong and Kevin Li also of Canada. The bottom half of the draw is composed of Maxime Belanger and Francois Champagne taking on former world champion Halim Haryanto, and Phillip Chew his junior partner, both representing the USA.
The womens doubles top seeds Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid booked their semi-final place after a solid performance against Canadian champions Xuelian Jiang and Melody Liang winning 21-18, 21-18. They will now face Japan’s Ito Kana and Oka Hitomi who defeated Canada’s Stephanie Ko and Phyllis Chan 21-10, 23-21. Second seeded Peruvians Christina Aicardi and Claudia Rivero to defeat their American opponents Priscilla Lun and Paula Obañana, but pulled out the win 21-16, 11-21, 21-17 to set up their semi-final match up against Ruilin Guang and Yee Theng Lim.
The last event of the day was the mixed doubles which is guaranteed to have a local champion as all four remaining pairs are Canadian. First up Toby Ng and Grace Gao avenged their upset at the nationals when they easily defeated Francois Bourret and Florence Lavoie 21-17, 21-7. They will face Alex Bruce and Kevin Li in their semi-final match tomorrow. National champions Jon Vandervet and Milaine Cloutier had a battle to book their semi-final place when they defeated American pairing Nicholas Jinadasa and Paula Obañana 17-21, 21-13, 21-17 and now face Derrick Ng and Xuelian Jiang.
Matches start tomorrow at 5pm
Although a little late in coming, the draws for the Atwater Canadian International 2010 have been released. Apparently the Pan American organizers had their laptop stolen at the recent World Junior Championships which delayed their publication of the draw.
Top seeded Brice Leverdez faces Zhang Kailai from Canada who may be unseeded, but recently immigrated from China so the top seed could be the first favourite to fall. Other strong favourites for the mens singles title include second seed Canada’s Stephan Wojcikiewicz, third seed Kestutis Navickas, and a handful of other seeds. Perhaps the most dangerous dark horse in the draw is Japan’s Ikeda Yuichi who won the recent Peru International.
Nicole Grether from Germany is the top seed gunning for the womens singles title. Similar to Leverdez in the mens singles Grether has a tough first round against Canada’s Phyllis Chan. On the far side of the draw is Jeanine Cicognini from Switzerland who plays Canada’s Valerie St Jacques. Other notables include Anna Rice, Michelle Li from Canada, and Claudia Rivero from Peru, Oka Hitomi and Ito Kana from Japan.
Almost an exclusively Canadian event, however both the first and second seeds are non-Canadian with Dutch players Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder as first seeds, and Americans Phillip Chew and Halim Haryanto as second seeds. Recent Peru International winners Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu will be gunning for the second ever international title, they are the third seeds. Fourth seeded Maxime Belanger and Francois Bourret will be looking to make an impact, and unseeded Canadian national champions Jon Vandervet and Alvin Lau are also looming threats.
The German/Canadian duo of Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid are the top seeds once again after cruising to a straight forward win in Peru recently. As in Peru the second seeds will be Peru’s Christina Aicardi and Claudia Rivero. Both the seeded pairs have challenging first rounds matches. Grether and Reid will likely face the recent Canadian national champions Melody Liang and Jiang Xuelian. The Peruvian second seeds have a possible match up against Michelle Li and Alex Bruce.
In the mixed doubles we have yet another near exclusive Canadian draw with only three pairs not featuring a Canadian player. Top seeded Canadians Toby Ng and Grace Gao will be looking to take their first ever international title, however there are a number of other pairs threatening the title. Perhaps the most threatening are Canadian national champions Jon Vandervet and Milaine Cloutier who are unseeded.
After the first day’s results there have been few seeds slain, with the exception of France’s Brice Leverdez who lost to Indonesia’s Yoga Pratama and Lee Tsuen Seng who withdrew from the tournament. Surprising though was the loss of last week’s Australian Open Grand Prix winner Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka to Japan’s Kazushi Yamada 14-21, 21-16, 21-12.
Tomorrow might yield some interesting matches with R.M.V Gurusai Datt playing the top seed Yan Kit Chan, Koichi Saeki playing second seeded Andre Tedjono, and a few others worth keeping an eye out for.
The other events have yet to start at this point in time as a result of what seem to be some fairly small draws, so keep an eye out there as well, since we could see some other exciting matches.
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.