Wojcikiewicz Wins Second PanAm Title

The women’s singles final was an unexpected win for American Cee Nantana Ketpura, as she was pitted against Canada’s top women’s singles player Michelle Li. The unseeded Ketpura had fought her way to the final and would not stop there beating Li in a lengthy three game match 17-21, 21-17 and 21-19.

Next up was Canadian Stephan Wojcikiewicz who was relieved after a great performance against Peru’s Rodrigo Pacheco Sunday Morning. Wojcikiewicz won the men’s singles event defeating Pacheco in a tough three game match 15-21, 21-17 and 21-13.  This is the second Pan Am title for the Canadian.

Women’s doubles would be the last final of the morning. Again an all Canadian final, Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko up against Alex Bruce and Michelle Li both unseeded teams. The previous matches Bruce and Li knocked out first seeds Aicardi and Rivero as Gao and Ko did the same to second seeds Wang and Wang. Both teams have played incredibly well, still only one can win. After the three game battle Gao and Ko came out on top winning 16-21, 23-21 and 21-12. This is the second gold medal Gao has collected having earlier won the mixed doubles.

Last but not least wass men’s doubles. The American team Sameera Gunatileka and Vincent Nguy ran into second seeds Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola from Brazil. At the end of the day the Americans can wave their flag after winning the men’s doubles. It was very close three game match Gunatileka and Nguy winning the first 21-19. Arthuso and Paiola coming back in the second 21-19. Again Gunatileka and Nguy winning the third 21-17, finishing the match and bringing the United States their second gold medal.

Michelle Li In Two Finals

After success in the team event, and some hard fought battles throughout the individual event Canada is positioned to possibly win 4 of 5 titles.

The first final will guarantee a Canadian title with Toby Ng and Grace Gao set to face off against their compatriots Alex Bruce and Kevin Li.  Ng and Gao had a tough fight in their semi-final match against another Canadian pair, Adrian Liu and Joycelyn Ko, but pulled through 19-21, 21-13, 21-18.  Li and Bruce had a somewhat easier semi-final against Americans Sattawat Pongnairat Cee Nantana Ketpura winning 21-11, 21-16.

Next up is the womens singles final between Canadian Michelle Li and American Cee Nantana Ketpura. Ketpura is unseeded and booked her place in the final after a thrilling 21-19, 22-20 win over Li’s compatriot Phyllis Chan. Li’s semi-final win was much less climactic with a 21-12, 21-14 scoreline over second seeded American Rena Wang.

With a couple of final appearances and a gold medal on his resume, Canadian Stephan Wojcikiewicz will be looking to add one more to his gold medal tally today, but will have to defeat Peruvian Rodrigo Pacheco. Wojcikiewiz had to play Sattawat Pongnairat once again after splitting matches against the American in the team event. This time Wojcikiewicz won when it mattered most with a 15-21, 21-16, 21-19 scoreline. Pacheco had a decidedly easier time against American Nicholas Jinadasa winning in two straight games 21-10, 21-19.

In the womens doubles final we have another guaranteed Canadian gold with Alex Bruce and Michelle Li set to play Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko. Both pairs had tough matches to make the finals, Bruce and Li defeated the top seeded Christina Aicardi and Claudia Rivero 23-21, 18-21, 21-12, and Ko and Gao defeated Iris and Rena Wang 15-21, 23-21, 21-15.

Finally the last final of the day, the only one not featuring a Canadian player, is the mens doubles final. Americans Sameera Gunatileka and Vincent Nguy are set to play Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola of Brazil. Nguy and Gunatileka knocked out top seeds Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu 22-20, 21-19 while the Brazilian pair defeated Bruno Monteverde and Rodrigo Pacheco 25-23, 21-19.

Pan Am Championships 2010 Full Results

Canada Takes Pan Am Team Title

Later on in the day the United States had a definitive win over Chile 5-0. Meanwhile in the B pool Mexico defeated Brazil 4-1, losing only the men’s doubles game to Hugo Lemos Arthuso and Danial Paiola. The final matches Tuesday went to Peru and Canada, Canada beating Chile 5-0 and Peru beating Brazil 4-1. The Brazilian men’s doubles team Andres Lopez and Lino Munoz spoiled Peru’s chances of a shut out, by defeating the Peruvians Martin Del Valle and Mario Cuba 21-18 and 21-18.

Day 2 wrapped up the 2010 Pan Am Championships Team Event. Canada faced-off against Mexico, Canada winning 3-0. Wojcikiewicz defeated Munoz 21-13 and 21-13, then Canadian women’s singles player Michelle Li won two straight games against Mariana Ugalde 21-18 and 21-14. Men’s doubles went to Liu and Ng on the account Lopez and Castillo were unable to compete. On court two Peru went up against the United States, with Peru losing 3-1. Peru took one win in men’s singles with Pacheco defeating Pongnairat in in two 21-11 and 21-12. Women’s singles went to the American player Ketpura winning 21-17 and 21-11 over Aicardi. Men’s doubles Nguy and Gunatileka beat Cuba and Monteverde 21-13 and 21-18, setting the United States up for win. Completing the victory for the American team was the women’s doubles team Wang and Wang defeating Aicardi and Rivero in three games 21-12, 23-25 and 21-7.

The bronze medal match Peru against Mexico, Peru takes the win 3-1. Rodrigo Pacheco Defeats Mexican Lino Munoz in three 21-17, 17-21 and 21-18. Next Peruvian Claudia Rivero makes quick work of Aileen Chinas 21-6 and 21-14. Mexico’s Munoz and Lopez over came men’s doubles team Cuba and Monteverde in a close three game match 15-21, 23-21 and 21-18. Women’s doubles team Aicardi and Zornoza finished off Mexico by defeating Gonzalez and Montero 22-20 and 21-18 winning them the bronze.

Canada and the United States battled it out again for the gold medal match. Ng and Gao taking the first win defeating the American team Jinadasa and Wang in two games 21-17 and 21-12. The United States responded in the men’s singles with Pongnairat beating Wojcikiewicz in three games 18-21, 21-13 and 21-18. Canada came back strong with women’s singles player Michelle Li defeating Nantan Cee Ketpura in two 21-15 and 21-17. Finalizing the win for Canada in men’s doubles team Liu and Ng won in two against Nguy and Gunatileka 21-18 and 21-14. This is Canada’s 3rd consecutive win in the team event at these games.

Pan Am Team Event Final Results

Pan Am Individual Event Draws

Badminton Life would like to welcome our newest contributor to the website, Charles Neufeldt.  Charles is a Canadian badminton player and coach based in Saskatoon.

Top Mens Singles Seed Stephan Wojcikiewicz

Top contenders back this year are Canadian men’s singles players Stephan Wojcikiewicz, David Snider and Alex Pang. Also back 2nd seed from Brazil Daniel Paiola, along with Charles Pyne and Gareth Henry from Jamaica. This should make for strong competition. Missing from the men’s singles draw this year is last years winner Kevin Cordon, as well as the rest of the Guatemalan team members. Joseph Rogers last years semi finalist is also missing from the draw. From the looks of the draw it looks like Paiola will have his work cut out for him to make it to the final, he will have Pang or Snider to go through first before he gets his chance at gold.

Following suit with the men’s singles, the women’s singles draw also lost last years winner Anna Rice as she has retired officially after her performance at the Commonwealth Games. Even with the loss of Rice, Canada looks favourable to come out on top with the addition of Charmaine Reid 1st seed and Michelle Li ¾ seed. I am predicting early problems for Karyn Cecilia Velez as her possible 2nd round match up is Joycelyn Ko, last year women’s singles runner up.

Men’s Doubles are not showing much representation from last years top teams. Missing teams are Guatemalan winners Kevin Cordon and Rodalfo Ramirez, as well as runners up Martin Del Valle and Antonio De Vinatea from Peru. Also not attending are the American and Peruvian semi finalists. This year teams to watch out for are the 1st seeds Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu from Canada along with Brazilians Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola seeded 2nd. Other Teams looking Strong are Gareth Henry and Charles Pyne from Jamaica and Peruvian team Bruno Monteverde and Rodrigo Pacheco.

Canadians Valerie St. Jacques and Milaine Cloutier are missing this year after placing first in women’s doubles last years Championships. Strong returning teams this year are Peruvian team Christina Aicardi and Claudia Rivero seeded 1st along with 2nd seeds Iris Wang and Rena Wang of the United States. Other title contenders are Canadians Alex Bruce and Michelle Li with fellow teammates Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko. All of these teams will have to work hard to make it through the semi finials.

Returning mixed doubles champions Toby Ng and Grace Gao are accompanied by their fellow Canadian’s teammates Alex Pang, Michelle Li, Kevin Li, Alex Bruce, Adrian Liu and Joycelyn Ko. Pang and Ko were last years runners up, they are back with new partners Pang playing with Li and Ko playing with Liu. I would expect to see an all Canadian mixed final. The 2nd seeds Bruno Monteverde and Claudia Zornoza have a tough 1st round match against Pang and Li. The Brazilians could be something to watch out for. Brazil has the most team entered in this category, they stand total five teams strong.

Team Event Draws and Results

Individual Event Draws and Results

oka_grether

Oka Defeats Grether

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

Atwater International 2010 Draws

snider_hock

Snider Defeats Lee

The women’s singles provided two of the biggest upsets of the day, the biggest of which was third seed Anna Rice falling to the unseeded Wang Linling.  The match was very up and down with Wang winning in three games 21-15, 6-21. 21-9.  The other big surprise in the women’s singles was the defeat of Christina Aicardi from Peru to Canadian Denyse Julien.  The 49 year old proved once again that she is not to be underestimated as she won in three long games 21-14, 21-23, 21-18.  The two big matches to watch tomorrow will likely be Nicole Grether from Germany taking on Japan’s Oka Hitomi, and Michelle Li from Canada taking on Jeanine Cicognini from Switzerland.

The men’s singles lacked any major upsets in spite of Dan Kai from Canada easily defeating USA’s Nicholas Jinadasa, and Ikeda Yuichi of Japan’s similarly easy win over Canada’s Alex Pang.  Both were upsets on paper, but there was no doubt who the stronger players were in those matches today.  Other than Dan Kai Canada has two other hopefuls remaining at the quarter-final stage with Stephan Wojcikiewicz winning over Timothy Ma, and David Snider pulling out a great performance against Malaysia’s Lee Hock Lai winning 21-17, 14-21, 21-18.  They will now meet Daniel Paiola and Kristian Midtgaard respectively.

The only doubles event to take to the courts today was the men’s doubles event as both the womens doubles and mixed doubles events will be starting their first rounds tomorrow.  There were a handful of close matches, perhaps the most surprising of which was recent Canadian national champions Jon Vandervet and Alvin Lau narrowly escaping defeat against the pick-up pair of Daniel Pastewka and Tommy McKee.  After splitting the first two games Lau and Vandervet trailed by ten points in the final game, but managed to comeback and take the match 18-21, 21-11, 23-21.

Tomorrow will feature some more exciting matches and we can expect some more seeds to start falling so check back in for more results soon.

Atwater Canadian International 2010 Draws

What Separates The Best From The Rest: Nationality

On September 16, 2009, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

This article is a little different than the others in this series in that it offers no advice to the individual players (other than perhaps to leave your country), but instead offers up ideas to the organizations. Upon viewing the title of this article I’m sure that already many of you are prepared to start arguing with me. Where you’re from should make no difference whether you’re a good player or not you say, people from even the most remote places have the ability to succeed in badminton. This is true to a point, but it is undeniable that a small handful of countries, and one country in particular, dominate badminton. In no particular order here are the main countries I am referring to:

Continue reading »

The 2009 Yonex OCBC US Open has come to a conclusion with Canada and the USA each taking two titles each. Canada’s top seeded Anna Rice won the women’s singles by defeating American Mona Santoso fairly easily 21-17, 21-9. A notable performance in the women’s singles came from the 17 year old Canadian Michelle Li who made it through to the semi-finals and then lost to Santoso.

Canada’s other title came in the women’s doubles when Huang Ruilin and Jiang Xuelian defeated Chen Ying and Grace Peng from the USA in three games 14-21, 21-15, 21-11. Both pairs were unseeded. Huang and Jiang defeated the top seeds Grether and Reid on their way to the final.

The Americans’ titles came from a likely source, Howard Bach. Bach won both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles with his respective partners Tony Gunawan and Eva Lee. In the men’s doubles Howard and Tony had to play top seeded Austrians Juergen Koch and Peter Zauner, but received little resistance in their 21-12, 21-9 win. In the mixed doubles Howard and Eva played Jiang Xuelian and Alvin Lau who were unseeded, winning 21-13, 21-12.

Finally the only player to win a title representing neither Canada or the USA was no doubt heavily expected to win. Had Taufik Hidayat lost this title it would no doubt have been a great source of embarrassment for the Indonesian. Hidayat won the tournament without dropping a game, and in the final this trend continued when he beat Chinese Taipei’s Hsueh Hsuan Yi 21-15, 21-16. Interesting to note though was Hidayat’s quarter-final match against Canada’s David Snider. Snider held his own against the Indonesian with a 21-14, 21-18 loss. Not too shabby at all.

To view full results visit the 2009 Yonex OCBC US Open draws

Thus far there have been very few upsets at the 2009 Yonex OCBC US Open, and in the mens singles there have been exactly none. Every seed, except Dicky Palyama who didn’t play, has made it through to the quarter finals. I am really excited to see what happens between David Snider and Taufik Hidayat. I have no delusions about David being able to win this match. This would no doubt be the best player that David has ever played before by a long shot, however, David has gone to three games with Andrew Smith who himself went three games with Taufik. I know this is 11 year old logic, but still, wouldn’t it be cool to see a close game between these two? It is of course possible that Taufik might be interested in a day trip to Disneyland tomorrow, and the pesky semi-finals might get in the way of that, it would be wise to take it easy in the quarters then right?

For the womens events I really don’t know many of the players, however I do know that Anna Rice and Eva Lee have had some good battles in the past (I think so at least). Anna spent a large part of the last few months away from intense training while doing work in Africa, so it is possible that she is not quite at her best, but still she is solid. Another Canadian worth watching is Michelle Li. She is new to the international circuit, but she is very strong for her young age. With still another year left in juniors she is already the second best player in Canadian seniors. As for the womens doubles, I know even fewer players. It would appear that the Americans have a good hold on this event with the exception of the top seeds Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether from Canada and Germany respectively.

The mens doubles appears to be the most diverse draw with players hailing from Korea, Austria, Wales, England, Denmark, Canada, and the USA. No doubt that former world champions Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach are the biggest names in the draw and certainly the favourites in my mind, despite their low seeding.

Finally the mixed doubles, I really have no clue. I would say it’s a choice between any one of either Halim Haryanto, Tony Gunawan or Howard Bach for this title.

2009 Yonex OCBC US Open Draws

It’s probably been over a decade since Taufik Hidayat played a match where he had to work so little. As he walked his way to a 21-3, 21-10 victory, it’s doubtful the Olympic champion broke a sweat. It’s a rare occasion that a player like Taufik goes to North America for a tournament, I’m actually suspicious that he may have come for a holiday to see his old friends Tony Gunawan and Halim Haryanto who are both living in the US now. Disneyland and Hollywood are sure to be on his itinerary. So far all of the mens singles seeds have been relatively unchallenged in their matches, with only Dicky Palyama gone as he withdrew from the tournament. The next few rounds could prove to be interesting, but all of it is inconsequential as the likelihood of Taufik not winning this tournament is extremely low. I am curious however to see how well a number of different players could do against him, first of which could be Canada’s David Snider. Very unlikely to win (see hell freezing over in the dictionary), but a potentially fun one to watch.

In the women’s singles there have been few surprises. Perhaps some upsets on paper, but few surprises. Canada’s Michelle Li defeated American Shannon Pohl, but hardly a surprise as Michelle Li is solid. Another upset on paper is Mona Santoso’s win over Charmaine Reid from Canada, but hardly surprising as Mona Santoso is extremely good. I can’t remember exactly what her story is, but I’m guessing she’s a former Indonesian player from back in the day. Overall it seems to be a battle between Canada and the US, which is not surprising.

In the men’s doubles the only big names are Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan, and perhaps Halim Haryanto. But I don’t think any of these guys are still all that active on the tour these days. Howard and Tony are likely the favourites for this event, but that depends strongly on how much they have been playing lately. The women’s doubles have only had a few early round matches as the majority of the teams had byes to the second round. Finally the mixed doubles features what seems to be a number of retirees coming back for fun or players on the verge of retiring. Halim Haryanto and his partner Grace Peng, Richard Vaughn and Sarah Thomas, Tony Gunawan and Nantana Ketpura, and Howard Bach and Eva Lee.

It’s a shame that the North American events don’t get more big names out to play, but its not surprising. The events are not going to generate the same level of sponsor involvement, and as a result prize money will be much lower. With an event that is also a fair bit away from any other events, it is quite a bit of travel for one event, especially if it doesn’t pay well. At least there is Disneyland nearby.

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