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.
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.