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Canada Open 2015: Three top seeds down

Canada Open 2015: Three top seeds down

Andrei Adistia both upset a top seed and was an upset top seed in the semi-finals of the 2015 Yonex Canada Open as both he and Selena Piek reached one of two finals.

Andrei Adistia of Indonesia and Selena Piek of the Netherlands might have met in the mixed doubles final of the 2015 Yonex Canada Open Grand Prix, but they had reverse fortunes in their two semi-finals on Saturday in Calgary. Both started off the day with a victory and ended in defeat but it was Adistia who established the pattern for top seeds on the day.

The 25-year-old Adistia teamed up with veteran Vita Marissa to off mixed doubles top seeds and 2011 champions Michael Fuchs / Birgit Michels. Still, the Indonesians blew a commanding 5-point lead at match point and had to finally put it away 24-22 on their eighth attempt.

Next up, the Indonesians will face another pair of former champions as Hong Kong's Lee Chun Hei / Chau Hoi Wah are into their second final in as many weeks and will be looking to do one better than their runner-up finish at the U.S. Open last week. There too they were a returning champion and this week they have already done away with the pair that beat them in New York.

In their semi-final, the Hong Kong pair disposed of none other than Selena Piek and her partner Jacco Arends. They had a slightly easier time in beating the Dutch duo than they had in New York last week.

Piek had already started the day with a victory. She and Eefje Muskens were actually the only top seeds to win on Saturday, beating Poon Lok Yan / Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong.

Up against the Dutch pair in the final will be India's Jwala Gutta / Ashwini Ponnappa. They are playing in their first Grand Prix final since they won the India Open in 2010, but they have been in two Commonwealth Games finals since then.

One locked up for China

The day ended for Andrei Adistia in disappointment as he and Hendra Aprida Gunawan failed to live up to their top seeding and fell to the in-form Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen, who are on a roll after their U.S. Open victory.

Li/Liu's compatriots Huang Kaixiang / Wang Sijie also made their way into the final. They beat Malaysia's Hoon/Lim in three games. Whichever pair wins the men's doubles final will be the first men representing the People's Republic of China to win in Canada since the World Juniors were held here in 2004.

Another Lee, another Li

In addition to Lee Chun Hei in mixed and Li Junhui in men's doubles, each singles final will feature one player with that family name and you can bet these will be the crowd favourites. Obviously, Canada's Michelle Li will be the centre of attention. She fought back from a game down to score her first ever victory over Japan's Minatsu Mitani.

Li's opponent in the final will be another Japanese player, Kaori Imabeppu, whose last appearance in a Grand Prix final saw her lose to Zhang Beiwen, one of her earliest casualties in this event. Imabeppu took care of two more of Japan's most formidable entries in the Canada Open, scoring back-to-back wins over Yui Hashimoto and then Sayaka Takahashi.

If Canada's top shuttler doesn't get the crowd going, it will be up to two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei. The Malaysian too bounced back from a first game defeat to win his next two handily against Japan's Takuma Ueda.

The surprise repeat finalist is Hong Kong's Ng Ka Long. He is the one responsible for removing the only top singles seed from the tournament. He beat Germany's Marc Zwiebler, the 2011 champion, in straight games.

Ng's achievement in having made two Grand Prix finals just past his 21st birthday is impressive. However, if he found it a challenge having to battle for the 2014 title with a man like Lee Hyun Il, who had been world #1 for a week 10 years earlier, his task in 2015 seems much more daunting with the great Lee Chong Wei on the other side of the net.

Finals line-up

  • WD: Eefje Muskens / Selena Piek (NED) [1] vs. Jwala Gutta / Ashwini Ponnappa (IND) [3]
  • MD: Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen (CHN) [5] vs. Huang Kaixiang / Wang Sijie (CHN)
  • XD: Lee Chun Hei / Chau Hoi Wah (HKG) [2] vs. Andrei Adistia / Vita Marissa (INA)
  • WS: Michelle Li (CAN) [3] vs. Kaori Imabeppu (JPN)
  • MS: Ng Ka Long (HKG) [7] vs. Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [14]

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