CANADA OPEN 2011 Day 2 – Pair from Down Under finishes on top

Ross Smith and Glenn Warfe of Australia studdered then punctuated their first round match in the Canada Open to face a mighty Taiwan pair for the second straight week. By […]

Ross Smith and Glenn Warfe of Australia studdered then punctuated their first round match in the to face a mighty Taiwan pair for the second straight week.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Richmond.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

After offing defending champions Fang/Lee last week at the U.S. Open, Australia’s Ross Smith and Glenn Warfe (pictured) dropped one game to Japan’s Takeshi Kamura / Sho Zeniya before seeing their way through to the second round in Richmond with an 18-21, 21-18, 21-14 victory.

The Australians, who nabbed the Oceania spot for next month’s World Championships, saw their ranking leap 12 spots to a still humble 57th today but that has no bearing on the damage they have to do here at the Canada Open .

“We’d like to think we’re starting another good week but I don’t think that was our performance today,” said Smith after watching their second round opponents finish their match.  “Last week, we were a lot sharper than that.

“Hopefully now that we’ve played in this new stadium and are used to the hall, we can come out tomorrow and be a lot sharper and play like we did last week.

“I felt that I just didn’t have that touch in the first game today and I was just hoping it would come back.  Luckily it did come back early enough for us to still get over the line.

“We’d beaten them in two games in New Zealand this year,” added Warfe.  “I think that was what enabled us, even when we were down, to still believe we could beat them.  We just needed to find our rhythym and play our game.

“We gave up the attacking and tried to control the rallies.  Rather than just trying to play hard, hard, hard all the time, we tried to play soft and set up the attack and build the rally from there.

“As for last week against Fang/Lee, we played them about 3 or 4 years ago and lost a close 3-game match.  They’ve improved a lot, obviously, since then but hopefully it’s the same with us, and we just found their playing style sort of suited ours.

“We played really well, and they were maybe a little bit off and we capitalized on it.”

Although Fang/Lee, who are top seeds and defending champions in this event as well, will face an Austrian challenge in Thursday’s second round, Smith and Warfe are up against the only slightly less formidable #2 Taiwan pair Chen Hung Ling and Lin Yu Lang, who withstood a determined and crowd-supported challenge by Canada’s Liu/Ng.

“We have another tough Chinese Taipei pair but hopefully we’ll have a repeat of last week and beat another Taipei pair in the second round,” Smith said.

All of the men’s doubles favourites had easy first rounds, although last week’s winners Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae of Korea required 8 match points to finally see off Canadians Jon Vandervet / Toby Ng.

6th-seeded Liu Xiaolong / Qiu Zihan needed three games to win one of two China-Austria matchups in the first round, the other going Austria’s way as Li Gen’s Canadian outing came to an end as he and Liu Cheng went down in three to David Obernosterer / Roman Zirnwald (pictured).  Li’s showboating for the day culminated in his feigning a swat at a shuttle on the left sideline.  Despite his obvious assuredness that the shot was well out, both the line judge and umpire insisted it had finally landed on the line.  The Austrians’ win earned them the right to take on the mighty Fang/Lee.

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @