It was a quick final day for the Czech International Grand Prix tournament. No matches went to three games, and no matches lasted longer than fifty minutes.

The finals kicked off with the mixed doubles finals of Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina of Russia against Gert Kunka and Amanda Hogstrom of Estonia and Sweden respectively. Both the Russians had another final later in the day in their respective Men’s and Women’s doubles, making a double crown for each possible. The entire match lasted only twenty six minutes with the Russians taking the prize, 21-15 and 21-12.

The first final with a Czech player was the women’s singles final, featuring Czech sensation Kristina Gavnholt, who had not dropped a set in the tournament yet, against India’s Arundhati Pantawane. The Indian player had a much tougher road to the final having a three set semi-final the day before. The match was the second longest of the day coming in at forty minutes. The home crowd had a reason to cheer in the end as Kristina came out the victor, 21-10, and 21-18.

The women’s final was the next one to be played, and it was Valeri Sorokina’s second final of the day. The Russian team of Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova faced off against Canada’s Nicole Grether and Charmane Reid. The Canadians only lasted a total of thirty-four minutes, with the Russian duo walking away with the title, 21-10, and 21-16. This was Valeri Sorokina’s second title of the day.

Next up we had the Men’s doubles, with Russians Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko facing off against Poland’s first seeds Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz. The Polish pair kept their magnificent form, defeating the Russians 21-13, and 21-16 in only thirty minutes.

The men’s singles was the match most came to watch. It featured Czech super star Petr Koukal who had made a brilliant run to the final, defeating second seed Brice Leverdez and therefore ending the Frenchman’s winning streak. Koukal was slotted against top seeded Polish player Przemyslaw Wacha. The match was the longest of the day, lasting a total of forty-one minutes. Unfortunately for Koukal, he could not take his home title this year, with Wacha taking the match 21-19, and 21-16.

View Full Draws

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.

Axelsen Through To Final

The two teenager superstars of the singles game in Europe have again battled through an excellent field of competitors to reach a major final and for Carolina Marin it is especially significant with her playing in front of a home crowd.

Viktor Axelsen’s run to the final has been impressive, with four victories in straight games including an impressive 21-14, 21-19 victory over Przemyslaw Wacha in the semi final. His opponent in the final will have the crowd on his side as Spain’s 5th seeded Pablo Abian came through a 68 minute war with top seeded Tommy Sugiarto, taking the third game 22-20 to book his place in tomorrow’s final.

Carolina Marin’s route to the final is similar to Axelsen’s, four wins, no dropped games and into the final. She also takes on the 5th seed, Olga Konon of Germany who has been just as impressive in her route to the final. Konon has failed to drop a game also and has been equally if not more impressive than Marin in reaching tomorrow’s final.

The men’s doubles features the top seeded pairs from the halves of the draw, with 4th seeded Kasbauer and Zurwonne taking on the 2nd seeded Cwalina and Logosz. The German 4th seeds came through a tight semi final against Saeki and Taohara eventually winning 23-21, 23-21. The Polish 2nd seeds have had little trouble in reaching the final, winning all three matches in straight games.

The top two seeds in the women’s doubles face off in tomorrow’s final, with the 2nd seeded Reid and Grether progressing despite Grether’s retirement from the singles on Friday. They take on the top seeded Dutch pair of Van Dooremalen and Jonathans who have progressed without the loss of a game to the final, whilst the Canadian pair have lost just one game also on route to the final.

The mixed doubles finals sees the top seeded Danish pair of Delbo Jensen and Schjott-Kristiensen take on the unseeded Croatian pair of Durkinjak and Ponzanovic, after they dismissed the 2nd seeded Ng and Gao in their semi final, taking the third game 22-20 to reach the final. The Danish pair have been the polar opposites in their route to the final, winning all three matches double quick time to reach the final after being on court just 80 minutes.

Saturday’s Results:

Bach and Gunawan

Bach and Gunawan Stand Firm

While Canadian pair Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu may have dreamed of upsetting former World Champions Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach it wasn’t to be.  The top seeded pair were at their best when their steamrolled the young pair 21-10, 21-9 to win the mens doubles title.  An important learning experience for the Canadian pair who we expect to see big things from moving forward.

Things would turn out better for the older of the Ng brothers when Toby Ng and Grace Gao won the mixed doubles by defeating Americans Halim Ho and Eva Lee 21-11, 14-21, 21-15.  This is an important win for the Canadian pair as we head towards the Olympic qualification run.

The womens doubles would be yet another great win for the Canadians as Michelle Li and Alex Bruce continued their fantastic run by defeating Americans Iris Wang and Rena Wang in three games 11-21, 21-15, 21-8.  This is yet another important match heading into the Olympic qualification period as these two pairs will no doubt be among the few teams fighting for a top spot in the Pan American qualification.

Rena Wang may have been disappointed with her loss in the doubles, however her singles victory would make up for that as she defeated top seed Nicole Grether 21-19, 20-22, 17-9.  It has not yet been reported what caused Grether to retire in the 3rd game.

Finally the only event not to feature either a Canadian or American player was the mens singles.  This would go to Pan America’s top player and Olympic qualification favourite Kevin Cordon who defeated Austria’s Michael Lahnsteiner in three games 23-21, 6-21, 21-12.

Full Finals Day Results

Ng/Liu Hope To Upset Bach/Gunawan

Today wrapped up the semi-finals of the Peru International Badminton Championships and as we head into the finals the events are dominated by the Americans and Canadians with the exception of the mens singles event.

The top seeded Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner had a tough but not overly close semi-final match against hometown favourite Rodrigo Pacheco. Lahnsteiner won in two straight games 21-16, 21-15, and now he faces off against Guatemala and Pan America’s top player Kevin Cordon who defeated Iztok Utrosa in two straight games 21-13, 21-14.

The women’s singles held some surprises and disappointment for Canada’s Michelle Li. Li, the second seed, was upset by American Rena Wang 21-18, 21-12. Wang will have to defeat yet another Canadian if she’s to win the title as she now plays Nicole Grether who recently began playing under the Canadian flag after years of representing Germany.. Grether earned her finals place by defeating Cee Ketpura 16-21, 22-20, 21-12.

Grether may have had fortune on her side in the singles, however it didn’t favour her in the doubles as she and her partner Charmaine Reid were upset by their Canadian compatriots Michelle Li and Alex Bruce in three very close games 12-21, 21-18, 21-19. Li will have an opportunity to avenge her singles loss against Rena Wang as her and Iris Wang defeated Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko in two games 21-18, 21-13.

The mens and mixed doubles events both feature Canada’s Ng brothers who have shown some strong performances domestically and internationally this year. First up in the mixed doubles Toby Ng is paired with Grace Gao and with a semi-final win over his brother Derrick and his partner Phyllis Chan he has found a place in the finals against Americans Halim Ho and Eva Lee who defeated Joycelyn Ko and Adrian Liu in three games.

Finally in the mens doubles we have what could be one of the more exciting finals to watch. Former world champions Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach are set to play the Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu in the finals. The Americans had to defeat French pair Laurent Constantin and Sebastian Vincent and did so with gusto by winning in two decisive games 21-9, 21-13. The Canadian pair also win with little struggle over their opponents Sameera Gunatileka and Vincent Nguy 21-15, 21-12. The Canadian pair are the obvious underdogs, but have shown some high level ability in the last year so it would be unsafe to discount them.

Full Saturday Match Results

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Navickas Powers Through

After a long week and some hard fought battles Lithuanian Kestutsis Navickas is the champion of the Atwater International 2010.  In spite of the relatively straight forward scores he had throughout the tournament Navickas fought very hard powering his way through his matches by virtue of his gritty play, fighting harder than all of his opponents.  His final match against France’s Brice Leverdez was his most challenging of the week, and the only match to go three games with Navickas winning 21-16, 18-21, 21-14.

Canada’s Wunderkind Michelle Li seemed poised for her first international title, but it wasn’t to be as her second Japanese opponent was able to just sneak past her in the end.  Oka Hitomi would be the second consecutive Japanese shuttler to dash Li’s hopes in a thrilling three game win 15-21, 21-12, 23-21.

Dutchmen Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder were dominant all week in Montreal, and the finals were no different.  They made their way to the finals without dropping a game, and American pair Halim Haryanto and Phillip Chew would be no different losing 21-13, 21-10.  The women’s doubles was unfortunately a default victory for Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether as Huang Ruilin and Lim Yee Theng were unable to play.

Perhaps the most impressive match of the day was the sibling rivalry in the mixed doubles between Derrick and Toby Ng.  The two brothers faced off for family pride, but it was Toby and his partner Grace Gao taking the title in a nailbiter over Derrick and Jiang Xuelian 21-18, 20-22, 26-24.  No doubt the Ng household has much to be proud of these past few weeks with Derrick’s recent victory in Peru with doubles partner Adrian Liu.

Atwater International 2010 Results

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Ng and Gao Book Finals

For her second consecutive international tournament Canada’s Michelle Li has booked herself a final.  Japan’s Ito Kana fought hard, but it wasn’t enough as Li won the match in three games 13-21, 21-14, 21-13 to set up an encounter against Ito’s teammate Oka Hitomi who defeated Charmaine Reid 21-15, 21-6 in the other semi-final.  Li has yet to win an international event, but this could be her best chance yet.

Canada had two hopefuls in the mens singles as well, unfortunately neither produced as David Snider fell in three close games to Brice Leverdez 21-11, 15-21, 21-15, and Stephan Wojcikiewicz lost to Lithuanian Kestutsis Navickas 21-12, 21-13. The Snider-Leverdez match was an extremely entertaining battle, unfortunately for the Canadian he was unable to keep it close going into the final few points.

As in the men’s singles, the men’s doubles final will feature no Canadian participants and instead will have a Dutch pair, and an American pair facing off for the title.  Top seeds Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder defeated the recent Peru International champions Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu 21-15, 21-15 to solidify their top seeding, and tomorrow will face off against America’s Halim Haryanto and Phillip Chew who defeated Canada’s Maxime Belanger and Francois Bourret 21-11, 21-10.

Top seeds Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid did well to fend off the challenge from Japan’s Ito Kana and Oka Hitomi in three close games 21-18, 19-21, 21-14.  Their opponents in the final will be another Canadian hybrid team after Huang Ruilin of Canada and Lim Yee Theng from Malaysia defeated second seeded Peruvians Christina Aicardia and Claudia Rivero in two straight games 21-13, 21-17.

It’s a sibling rivalry in the mixed doubles as Toby Ng takes on his brother Derrick Ng.  Toby and his partner Grace Gao took their semi-final match against Kevin Li and Alex Bruce in two straight 21-12, 21-18.  Derrick partnered with Jiang Xuelian to knock out Canadian national champions Jon Vandervet and Milaine Cloutier in three games 21-18, 20-22, 21-8.

Tomorrow promises some exciting matches so stay tuned for more results.

Atwater International 2010 Draws

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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

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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

atwater_draws_2010

Atwater International Draws

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.

Mens Singles

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.

Womens Singles

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.

Mens Doubles

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.

Womens Doubles

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.

Mixed Doubles

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.

Atwater Canadian International 2010 Draws

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