CANADA OPEN 2011 Finals – Double Deutsche!!

Germany stamped its name on the 2011 Yonex Canada Open early, beginning proceedings by snatching the first two titles on offer as Michael Fuchs / Birgit Michels and Marc Zwiebler […]

Germany stamped its name on the 2011 Yonex early, beginning proceedings by snatching the first two titles on offer as Michael Fuchs / Birgit Michels and Marc Zwiebler both won in two straight.

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

Both pairs started out cautiously, the first rally saw lots of movement of the shuttle but not a single smash and it ended, suitably with a brilliant drop by Fuchs.  Things soon got into full swing, however, and although each point by Chen and Cheng revealed that the crowd was quite partisan in favour of the Taiwan athletes, it was once again not so obvious since the Germans were so dominant, taking the opening game decisively 21-10.

The second game saw the Germans playing a lot more catch-up but after erasing a game point, they surged ahead to a 21-20 advantage, at which point the Taiwan pair gifted them with some tantalizingly loose drives.  Cheng Wen Hsing returned two under pressure and got the attack back for her side.  The Germans made good on their next one, though and nabbed the second game 23-21 on a hard drive down Chen’s backhand side.

The victory is the first at the level for the Germans since last year’s U.S. Open.  In the interim, they have made an even bigger mark, reaching the French Open final and the All England semis but Michael Fuchs reflected on the importance of winning in Canada.

“Winning this title is certainly important for the points,” said Fuchs.  “We are especially happy because we didn’t play well in the recent tournaments in Asia.

“We’ve had some good matches against Chen and Cheng.  It is good to beat them because they are a very good pair and also they play a very different style, not like the European mixed style at all.

“That’s one reason why we decided to to come here.  Even though it is not the highest level tournament, it gave us the chance to play a variety of pairs, which is great preparation for the World Championships.”

“Cheng Wen Hsing is a very good player and it feels good to beat her, even if she has beaten me in the women’s doubles, mixed doubles is my favourite so this win feels great,” added Birgit Michels.

“We can’t predict anything about the World Championships,” said Fuchs.  “Everything depends on the draw, which comes out tomorrow.  I believe we are seeded but on the other hand, there are very many good but unseeded pairs so you can never tell.  In the All England, many unseeded pairs, including us, did very well.”

Asked how they would celebrate the win, Fuchs said, “Well, we have to fly back right away.  Maybe we’ll have a few beers on the plane, but then when we get back we have to start preparing for the World Championships.”

The men’s singles final followed an almost identical pattern, with Marc Zwiebler taking the first game handily, then struggling to put it away in two.  There was brilliance on both sides, with a wonderful variety of explosive power and clever deception and placement.

It was the German who held sway at the finish, however, reacting with almost incredulous delight to having won the title and beaten the defending champion for the second consecutive week.

“I think that Marc is getting better and he definitely played well,” said Taufik Hidayat after the final, “but it is also that I have been going down.  I’ve been having a bad year, at the All England, India Open and in the Indonesia Open.

“The first reason I’m here is at the urging of my sponsor Yonex but I also would like to help make badminton big in Canada and the United States, since now, it is only in Asia that the sport is really popular, and in Europe, mostly Denmark and England.

“For any sport to get more popular in the United States, it helps so that’s the main reason I’ve come here last year and this year, even though it’s a small tournament for me.

“And I think that it is helping.  There are more people in these countries now who are watching badminton and playing badminton.  Many are Asian, of course, so in a way, playing here feels like Asia.”

After the pair of titles for Germany, of course, finals day took a real Asian turn, as it became the turn of China and Chinese Taipei to attempt to take two titles of their own, going against one another for one of them.

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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 @