There were not very many surprises on the first day of the 26th Brazil International Cup.  Guatemala’s top singles player Kevin Cordon made it through his match without too many problems, winning over USA’s Sattawat Pongnairat 21-11, and 21-11.  Ivan Sozonov, Guatemala International Men’s singles and Men’s doubles champion had quite a scare against Czech player Petr Koukal. The match went three games with Sozonov taking the final game 21-18.

Canada’s Olympic hopeful Stephan Wojcikiewicz overtook Brazilian star Daniel Paiola, 21-9, 21-15. And in the women’s singles, first seeded Susan Egelstaff had a frightening first round when Portugal’s Telma Santos forced a third game. The final scores were 21-23, 21-16, and 21-9 with Egelstaff taking the match and moving on to the next round.  Michelle Li is looking at attempting to win her second tournament of the season with a first round win over Japan’s Ayumi Mine, 21-7, 21-18.

In the Men’s doubles, the top pairings from Canada, Austrailia, USA, and Brazil all made it past the first hurdle of this tournament.  The women’s doubles provided even fewer surprises with the expected teams advancing onto the next round.

A big win in the mixed doubles for Peru’s young team of Mario Cuba and Lorena Duany came early on in the first round. They defeated Brazilian doubles sensation Hugo Arthuso, who paired up with Marina Eliezer in three games, 18-21, 21-13, and 21-10.

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The twenty sixth Brasil International Cup is underway today, with some great players from Pan America as well as the world in attendance. Guatemala’s breakout star Kevin Cordon will be attempting to redeem himself after losing to Russia’s Vladmir Ivanoz in the semi-final of his home tournament, Guatemala International. Ivanoz is one of the three Russians in attendance of Brasil International, and they are no doubt the ones to beat in this tournament as Ivanoz and his partner Ivan Sozonov teamed up to win the Men’s doubles title in Guatemala, as well as facing off against each other in the Men’s singles final.

Meanwhile the women’s singles may be very unpredictable. Michelle Li of Canada is definitely the favourite after edging out Scotland’s top seeded Susan Egelstaff in the semi-final and Switzerland’s Jeanine Cicognini in the final to win the title last week in Guatemala.

The home country of Brazil definitely has the strongest numbers in this tourney. No surprise there. However a Brazilian duo to watch would definitely be 4th seeded Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola. They reached the semi-final of Guatemala and now are prepared to go for their home title. They lost to Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng, Canada’s top doubles pair who fell to the Russian team of Ivanoz and Sozonoz in the final.

Matches to watch out for in the women’s doubles will mostly occur in the later rounds. A possible quarter final in the very bottom of the draw could have USA’s top team of Rena and Iris Wang clashing with one of Canada’s top teams Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko. Gao will also be teaming up with usual partner Toby Ng, to take the top seeded position in the mixed doubles.

So far we are looking forward to a great tournament. A great concentration of North and South America’s finest as well as few top players from abroad.

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