Hidayat, Gunawan, Bach, and Rice Awe U.S. Open Crowd
The big crowd present on Finals night at the 2009 Yonex/OCBC U.S. Open Grand Prix Championships at Don Chew's Orange County Badminton Club July 11 was expecting an exciting evening - they were not disappointed. The U.S.'s Howard Bach/Eva Lee opened the evening with their Mixed Doubles match with Canada's Alvin Lau/Xuelian Jiang. Bach/Lee displayed their overall court coverage, quick shots, and Bach's thrilling jump smashes in a quick match, winning 21-13, 21-12.
Canada's Anna Rice met the U.S.'s Mona Santoso in the Women's Singles final. Santoso got off to a quick start with her hard smashes and quick drops, but Rice's consistency put her in the match and kept her there. Winning the first game, 21-15, Rice went on to capitalize on Santoso's inconsistencies and prevailed in the second game as well, 21-9, to win her first U.S. Open title.
The crowd was then set for Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat and his Men's Singles match with Chinese Taipei's Hsuan Yi Hsueh. The shuttle star put his opponent to the test with his floating footwork, numerous spinning net tumbles, and thunderous smashes. Hsueh tried to stay in the match, but came up short, 21-15, 21-16. Hidayat awed the crowd the entire week by losing no games during the tournament. A standing ovation greeted the shuttlers at the match's end, and Hidayat was generous with smiles and photo opportunities.
The U.S. and Canada faced off in the Women's Doubles final with the U.S.'s Ying Chen/Yun (Grace) Peng facing Canada's Ruilin Huang/Xuelian Jiang. The U.S. team took the first game, 21-14, but the young Canadians stayed in the long rallies and hard hitting to win the second and third games, 21-16, 21-11. They were thrilled to win their first title.
In the night's finale match, 2005 World Champions Howard Bach/Tony Gunawan met Austria's Jurgen Koch/Peter Zauner. Quick drives and hammering smashes were the order of the match, and the Austrians had no answers for the relentless pounding of the U.S. team. The match was an awesome finish for the crowd's heroes, 21-12, 21-9.
MS - Taufik Hidayat (IND) def. Hsuan Yi Hsueh, (TAI) 21-15, 21-16
WS - Anna Rice (CAN) def. Mona Santoso (USA) 21-15, 21-9
MD - Bach/Guanwan (USA) def. Koch/Zauner (AUS) 21-12, 21-9
WD - Huang/Jiang (CAN) def. Chen/Peng (USA) 14-21, 21-16, 21-11
XD - Bach/Eva Lee (USA) def. Lau/Jiang (CAN) 21-13, 21-12