CANADA OPEN 2010 Day 3 – Zhu dumps top seed

Women’s singles top seed Pi Hongyan narrowly lost to dark horse favourite Zhu Lin (pictured) on Day 3 of the 2010 Yonex Canada Open Grand Prix.  Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat […]

Women’s singles top seed Pi Hongyan narrowly lost to dark horse favourite Zhu Lin (pictured) on Day 3 of the 2010 Yonex .  Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat had to really work to be the only one of the top six to reach the quarter-finals in men’s singles.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yves Lacroix (live from Richmond)

Pi Hongyan may have entered the Canada Open as top seed but, from the start, it was no secret that 2007 World Champion Zhu Lin of China would be a powerful force in Richmond.  Although it may have seemed like a final before a final, when they met in the second round, they gave the Thursday evening crowd a good show before Zhu finally finished it off in two games 22-20, 21-19.

Rice the last Canadian in her last Canadian appearance?

Canadian women’s singles champion Anna Rice (pictured below) is playing very close to home but perhaps for the last time at this level.  Rice told Badzine this week that she would be retiring from international badminton this year, making the Canada Open her home swan song.  She intends to play the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games and then call it quits.

On the courts on Thursday, the North Vancouver native benefited from a surprisingly large and supportive Canadian crowd and was able to come back from the brink to beat Japanese youngster Shizuka Uchida 20-22, 22-20, 21-11.  Rice – who is coached by her husband, former international player and current tournament co-organizer Bobby Milroy – enters the quarter-finals as the sole remaining Canadian singles competitor (only Charmaine Reid remains in doubles) and there she will face the tallest woman on the tour, Korea’s Kim Moon Hi.

Korean hopes still alive in five

While Canada is down to two players, the second largest team in attendance, Korea, has only one entry left per discipline.  Lee Dong Keun had a big day, beating two seeded players, in Arvind Bhat and Kestutis Nevickis.  Shin Baek Cheol and Kim Ki Jung, Lee’s team-mates since middle school, also advanced in men’s doubles.

Eom Hye Won and Kim Ha Na bounced U.S. Open champion Jiang Xuelian, playing with Melody Liang, out of the women’s doubles and Eom will get a chance at payback on Yao Lei for her narrow defeat in mixed doubles as the young Koreans will play the Singapore Open champions Yao and Sari in Friday’s quarter-finals.

Europe’s turn at upsets

Europeans also scored some big wins on Thursday.  Notable among them was Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet, who reached the quarter-finals in two disciplines, one of them on the strength of a nail-biting 21-15, 17-21, 22-20 win over Neo/Fu of Singapore.  Germany has Nicole Grether paired with Reid in women’s doubles and going up against Overzier/Marinello, both having beaten tough, young Japanese opponents.  Grether was also one of two Germans and four Europeans overall who made up for Pi Hongyan’s loss by reaching the women’s singles quarter-finals.

The European men also had their share of success.  The doubles pair of Ingo Kindervater / Johannes Schoettler were close to winning in two but ended up needing 3 games to see off third seeds and Chinese Taipei Open champions Chen Hung Ling / Lin Yu Lang 21-15, 20-22, 21-18.  Their compatriots Fuchs/Kaesbauer also made the quarter-finals but there they will need all of the luck that touched their team-mates as the 8th seeds have the unenviable task of playing against double Super Series winners Fang/Lee of Chinese Taipei.

Apart from Lee Dong Keun, all of the upsets in men’s singles came from Europe. Dane Rue Ulsing’s 21-18 21-10 upset of second-seeded Dicky Palyama may have been the biggest on paper but it was France’s unsung heroes who really provided the thrills.  First, it was Simon Maunoury (pictured left) who took out England’s third-seeded Rajiv Ouseph in straight games.  Later in the day, Simon kept his streak alive with a rocky 13-21, 21-18, 21-15 victory over Petr Koukal.  Some animosity was displayed across the net between Simon and the tenth-seeded Czech but the match ended with an amicable congratulatory handshake nonetheless.

Another Frenchman was very close to providing the highlight of the day.  Ninth-seeded Matthieu Lo Ying Ping (pictured right), riding high after his come-from-behind victory over Korea’s Han Ki Hoon, had a sleep-deprived Taufik Hidayat on the ropes in one of the day’s last matches.  At 19-14, two points away from kocking off the top-seeded Indonesian, Mathieu injured his ankle.  After getting treatment, the Frenchman finished out the match but his lack of mobility meant that Taufik was able to take control and eventually win it 13-21, 21-19, 21-16.

Badzine will be back tomorrow through Sunday with live reports and photos so keep following the Yonex Canada Open Grand Prix with us.

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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 @