U.S. Open Full of Surprises
The 2009 Yonex/OCBC U.S. Open Grand Prix Championships July 6-11 have been full of surprises and amazing play. #2 seed in Men’s Singles, Hock Lai Lee, bowed out to Canada’s David Snider, 21-15, 21-12 in the early rounds and Women’sSingles #2 seed Charmaine Reed of Canada was surprised by the U.S.'s Mona Santoso, 21-9, 21-9.
The Indonesian crowd-pleaser and #1 Men’s Singles seed Taufik Hidayat provided thrills in his quarterfinal match with David Snider with his crisp backhand smashes, impeccable footwork, and net tumbles, winning 21-14, 21-18. Seventeen-year-old Canadian Michelle Li dismissed the U.S.’s #4 seed Liliane Chow in a thrilling three gamer, 21-15, 16-21, 21-16. But the quarterfinal match of the night was Danes Martin Bille Larsen/Jacob Chemnitz versus Brits Andrew Ellis/Dean George. The rousing three game match was spirited enough until 20-14 in the third when the Danish team couldn’t get the winning point. The English team fought back to 20-all, but neither team could get that winning point and the crowd roared at each attempt. The Danes finally prevailed at 27-25, and the crowd rose in a standing ovation for a superb ending to the evening.
Semifinals night provided plenty to cheer for when 3 of the 4 singles matches went 3 games. Taufik Hidayat ended Britain’s Carl Baxter’s hopes for a win with a 21-12, 21-12, smashing battle, but Canada’s Stefan Wojcikiewicz bowed to Chinese Taipei’s Hsuan Yi Hsueh in the third game with a knee injury, 15-21, 21-15, 14-13, retired. Canada’s Anna Rice, #1 seed, had to bring her best game to beat #3 seed Germany’s Nicole Grether, 16-21, 21-18, 21-17. Canada’s Michelle Li, the previous evening’s star, was no match for the U.S.’s Mona Santoso, though she fought hard, 20-22, 21-17, 21-12.
#1 Men’s Doubles seed, Austrians Jurgen Koch/Peter Zauner wasted no time with Danes Bille Larsen/Chemnitz, winning 21-11, 21-10 and the crowd cheered on the U.S.’s 2005 World Champions Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan as they bid #2 seeds Canada’s William Milroy/Toby Ng farewell with a 21-15, 21-12 win. #1 Women’s Doubles seed Grether/Reid were taken out by Canada’s Jiang/Huang, 12-21, 21-14, 21-11, and the U.S.’s Ying Chen/Yun (Grace) Peng prevailed over a younger U.S. Team of Priscilla Lun/Mesinee Mangkalakiri, 21-16. 21-11.
The Mixed Doubles semis saw two Canadian teams, #5 seeds Toby Ng/Grace Gao and Alvin Lau/Xuelian Jiang, fight for a finals spot, Lau/Jiang winning easily, 21-16, 21-3. The U.S.’s Mixed Doubles team of Howard Bach/Eva Lee kept U.S. hopes soaring with a stirring win over #3 seeds Canada’s William Milroy/Fiona McKee, 21-9, 21-11. The U.S. and Canada will square off in the Grand Prix finals, to the delight of the home crowd.