CANADA OPEN 2017 QF – Indians lost two to Won Ho

Defending men’s doubles champions Attri/Reddy fell to the youngest quarter-finalist at the Canada Open as Korea’s 18-year-old Kim Won Ho reached his career first Grand Prix semi-final, times two! By […]

Defending men’s doubles champions Attri/Reddy fell to the youngest quarter-finalist at the as Korea’s 18-year-old Kim Won Ho reached his career first semi-final, times two!

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

Late in the day on Friday at the 2017 Canada Open, it became clear that there could be no more than one repeat champion as both remaining 2016 winners fell in quick succession.  The last of these was 3rd-seeded Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy falling to a pair of Korean teenagers playing in only their second tournament together.

But even before Kim Won Ho and Seo Seung Jae (pictured top) dismissed Attri and Reddy in under half an hour, each had already booked a spot in the mixed doubles semi-finals as part of an even newer partnership.  Kim Won Ho, son of Atlanta Olympic gold medallist Gil Young Ah, played his first international match with Seo Seung Jae at the Sudirman Cup and the two had their first outing in an individual tournament a couple of weeks ago at the Chinese Taipei Open.

But this week marked Kim’s first collaboration with women’s doubles world #5 Shin Seung Chan.  They blew one match point opportunity in the second game before winning in three against Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold winners Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy.

Kim and Shin will face the only non-Korean pair in the mixed doubles final four.  Japan’s Kohei Gondo and Wakana Nagahara ousted defending champions Du/Pham of Vietnam in straight games.  The other semi-final pits Chinese Taipei Open winners Seo and Kim Ha Na against top seeds Choi Sol Gyu and Chae Yoo Jung (pictured bottom).  Choi and Chae have had their share of major semi-finals and even more major upsets, including their heroics in the Sudirman Cup final, but they haven’t won a tournament together since the Vietnam Open back in 2013.

Japan 3, Korea 1

Just as Gondo and Nagahara are surrounded by Koreans in the mixed doubles semis, so are Korean semi-finalists surrounded by Japanese competitors in two other disciplines.  Asian Championship women’s doubles runners-up Kim Hye Rin / Yoo Hae Won saved two match points and missed one of their own before conceding defeat in three games to Japan’s Misato Aratama / Akane Watanabe (pictured left).

For Korea, that left Chinese Taipei Open winners Chae Yoo Jung and Kim So Yeong (pictured above right).  They beat Russia’s Anastasia Chervyakova / Olga Morozova in straight games to become the only non-Japanese women’s pair on Saturday.  Chervyakova and Morozova travelled to Calgary immediately after winning the White Nights International Challenge in Gatchina but they are staying on the North American continent to play the U.S. Open rather than defending their only Grand Prix title to date, their ‘home’ event, the Russian Open, which will also be held next week in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.

In men’s singles as well, a Japanese ‘upset’ precluded the possibility of an all-Korean final.  Former world #2 Kento Momota (pictured right) won in straight games over Korea’s Jeon Hyeok Jin and will take on compatriot Kenta Nishimoto for a spot in the final.

Lee Hyun Il beat Brazil’s Ygor Coelho, the last reigning Pan Am Champion in the competition, in the shortest quarter-final of the day, winning a pair of 21-9 games in just 24 minutes.  The 2014 champion has the only chance to become a repeat winner of this event but first he will have to play a repeat of last year’s U.S. Open final as Kanta Tsuneyama still has a chance to set up an all-Japanese final.

Last European hopes

Japan might have fancied their chances at 3 of another final 4 in the women’s singles but Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour (pictured) had other ideas.  She beat China Masters winner Aya Ohori in straight games and will take on Korea’s Jeon Joo I.  Jeon is the only singles player in action on Saturday who has never been in a Grand Prix final before and for her, this is the first time in a semi-final round.

Sayaka Takahashi disappointed local fans when she eliminated Canada’s only quarter-finalist, Brittney Tam.  Her opponent will be compatriot Saena Kawakami, one of three of the champions from the Chinese Taipei Open who are looking to turn their success into a title streak.

England’s Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden are the other Europeans still going into the weekend.  They booked tickets to their first ever Grand Prix semi-final when they took down China Masters runners-up Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko, bouncing back from a dismal first game loss to win in three.

The Brits made it through where two pairs from the Netherlands failed.  Maas/Tabeling went down to top seeds Lu Ching Yao / Yang Po Han (pictured).  Meanwhile, Arends/Jille lost to two more youngsters. Choi Hyuk Kyoon, who turned 20 last month, is the oldest of the four Korean men’s doubles semi-finalists and Seo Seung Jae’s mixed doubles performance in Taipei is the only Grand Prix semi-final experience for any of them.

Briggs/Wolfenden, and Lu/Yang are both capable of preventing an all-Korean final in men’s doubles but the Chinese Taipei pair have to be considered the heavy favourites after their two Grand Prix Gold runner-up finishes 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 @