CANADA OPEN 2013 SF – Yip Pui Yin reaches first final in 3 years

Yip Pui Yin is in her first final since the spring of 2010 while Nichaon Jindapon is hoping to make the Yonex Canada Open her first Grand Prix title and […]

Yip Pui Yin is in her first final since the spring of 2010 while Nichaon Jindapon is hoping to make the Yonex her first title and Thailand’s second in a row.

By Emzi Regala, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

The crowd at the Richmond Olympic Oval, on Canada’s Pacific coast, was treated to two thrilling women’s singles semi-finals matches as four women from different nations gave it all they had to try to outclass their opponents in a fight for berths in the finals of the Yonex Canada Open Grand Prix.

Yip Pui Yin (pictured) denied her Japanese opponent Yuka Kusunose’s attempt at a second consecutive finals appearance as she narrowly escaped in a tightly contested 3-game match 22-20, 13-21, 21-19.  The win puts Yip in her first international final since the 2010 Malaysia Grand Prix Gold, which she won and which stands as her only Grand Prix title to date.

Yip is now gearing up for a final where she will face off against a younger opponent, 22-year-old first seed Nichaon Jindapon (pictured), who had her own share of tough semi-final competition.  Thailand’s pride Nichaon, one of five Thais currently in the top 20 in the world, successfully reversed her fortune.  A week ago at the U.S. open, Jindapon was also the top seed, but she bowed out in the semi-finals to eventual runner-up Kusunose.

The Thai came back strong today in the 3rd and decider game in Canada, however, trampling Carolina Marin’s campaign 15-21, 21-10, 21-18.  Jindapon is now playing in her second Grand Prix final of the year and hopes to make this one her first major title.

In the men’s doubles, Thailand’s Bodin Issara, now partnering Pakkawat Vilailak, recovered after dropping the 1st game to take the last 2 against Ruud Bosch / Koen Ridder of the Netherlands 21-15, 10-21, 17-21.  The other Thai semi-finalists, Issara’s former partner Maneepong Jongjit, now playing with Nipitphon Puangpuapech (pictured below), had a much easier time on court defeating their young Chinese opponents Wang Yilu / Zhang Ningyi 21-14, 21-19.

Interestingly, tomorrow will be the first time that Issara and Jongjit face each other in international competition after dissolving their partnership at the end of 2012 and in fact, it is the first international final for either pair.

Jongjit however, failed to make the mixed doubles finals as he and new partner Sapsiree Taerattanachai – who won the U.S. Open title last Saturday only to withdraw from her second round match in Richmond – fell short at the hands of Hong Kong’s rising mixed doubles stars Lee Chun Hei / Chau Hoi Wah.  Chau and her new teenaged partner go up against Netherland’s Jorrit De Ruiter / Samantha Barning and will try for their second title in as many weeks.

The red, white, and blue tricolour Netherlands flag will be present in two more events, as Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek (pictured) had no trouble dispatching the first seeds from Macau Wang/Zhang 21-16, 21-10.  After beating the two mainland-born players, the Dutch ladies will be up against the youngest of the Chinese national team’s women’s doubles aces Yu Xiaohan / Huang Yaqiong, who themselves had a relatively easy win against local favourites Li/Gao.

The Chinese will be hoping to do one better than their runner-up finish in California last weekend and without a former world #2 opponent this time around, will fancy their chances.

The third final with a Dutch presence is the men’s singles, where Eric Pang is looking for his second title in Canada after winning the International Challenge in Ottawa last month.  Pang prevented an all-Malaysian final by dispatching Misbun Ramdan Mohmed Misbun , while Malaysia’s Tan Chun Seang prevented an all-European final by seeing off Henri Hurskainen of Sweden.

Finals line-up
WD: Eefje Muskens / Selena Piek (NED) vs. Yu Xiaohan / Huang Yaqiong (CHN)
MS: Eric Pang (NED) [2] vs. Tan Chun Seang (MAS) [3]
MD: Maneepong Jongjit / Nipitphon Puangpuapech (THA) [2] vs. Bodin Issara / Pakkawat Vilailak (THA) [8]
WS: Nichaon Jindapon (THA) [1] vs. Yip Pui Yin (HKG) [3]
XD: Lee Chun Hei / Chau Hoi Wah (HKG) [1] vs. Jorrit De Ruiter / Samantha Barning (NED) [3]

Click here for complete semi-final results

About Emzi Regala