CANADA OPEN 2015 QF – Ueda survives marathon

Takuma Ueda beat 2nd-seeded Xue Song in the longest quarter-final at the 2015 Yonex Canada Open but all eyes are still on Lis and Lees. By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yves […]

Takuma Ueda beat 2nd-seeded Xue Song in the longest quarter-final at the 2015 Yonex but all eyes are still on Lis and Lees.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

After romping to a three title performance in New York last week, China’s B Team is down to a couple of men’s doubles pairs for semi-finals day at the Yonex Canada Open .  The last Chinese singles shuttler, 2nd seed Xue Song, was edged out in a 77-minute marathon by Japan’s Takuma Ueda (pictured).

Ueda is now in his first semi-final since the 2013 Singapore Open but he must now face the formidable Lee Chong Wei.  The 26-year-old Japanese shuttler – whose fourth straight win at last spring’s Thomas Cup was the winning point for Japan – won his only Grand Prix title nearly five years ago in Vladivostok.

Another upset in the men’s singles came as Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long (pictured), who turned 21 a few days ago, disposed of 3rd-seeded Hsu Jen Hao in three games.  The 2014 Canada Open runner-up thus earned a shot at 2011 champion Marc Zwiebler.  With two former finalists in one semi-final, Lee Chong Wei made sure that the other was populated with former U.S. Open finalists as he followed up his win in New York with another victory over B. Sai Praneeth of India.

Ten won against Taiwan

Chinese Taipei shuttlers may have had a field day on Thursday, cutting a swath through the ranks that ended up claiming 7 seeds in total, along with several other casualties from home and visiting teams alike.  However, the Taiwan fortunes reversed on Friday as the team’s record was 0 for 10.

Ng Ka Long contributed one of Taipei’s defeats and his former World Junior Championship partner Lee Chun Hei threw in another, in mixed doubles.

In fact, both players who are active in two semi-finals each were involved in Taipei’s frightening Friday.  Indonesia’s Andrei Adistia reigned over last year’s men’s doubles runner-up Liao Min Chun not once, but twice.  Adistia and Hendra Aprida Gunawan performed according to their top seeding in the men’s doubles by beating Liao and Tseng Min Hao.  Then he and veteran Vita Marissa beat Liao and Chen Hsiao Huan in mixed.

Selena Piek of the Netherlands is also featuring in two semi-finals.  She and Jacco Arends beat Lin Chia Yu / Wu Ti Jung of Chinese Taipei to get to the final four in mixed doubles, where they will face Lee and Chau.  Piek and Eefje Muskens (pictured) are the top seeds in women’s doubles and they are looking for their first Grand Prix title outside of Europe.  First, they will have to test themselves against former Japan Open champions Poon Lok Yan / Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong.

Li surrounded by Japanese talent

Michelle Li (pictured) won the second-longest match of the day on Friday.  She came back from one game down to beat Pai Yu Po in a repeat of last year’s final.  She now comes up against her first Japanese opponent of the week, former French Open champion Minatsu Mitani.  She narrowly missed out on a first victory over Mitani in France last autumn.

Two other Japanese shuttlers, Sayaka Takahashi and Kaori Imabeppu, will face off in the other semi-final after each beat another compatriot in their respective quarter-finals.

Chinese look to seal doubles early

The men’s doubles is the only discipline where China still has a chance and in fact, they are looking to wrap the title up early.  Top seeds Adistia and Gunawan are slated for a repeat of last year’s Chinese Taipei Open final against Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen.  The young Chinese giants are, of course, on a roll after their win on Sunday at the U.S. Open.

Huang Kaixiang, who narrowly lost a repeat of his U.S. Open final in mixed on Thursday, is still banking on a title in men’s doubles, where his is in the semis in only his second event with Wang Sijie.  Huang’s regular partner Zheng Siwei, with whom he won the New Zealand Open this past spring, is in Thailand this weekend at the Asian Juniors, where he will be attempting to defend the titles that he and Huang won last year.

Huang and Wang will take on Malaysia’s Hoon Thien How / Lim Khim Wah (pictured), who shocked their compatriots Li and Liu in New Zealand this year.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

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 @