22nd November 2006
Report and Photos by Yves Lacroix
American Eva Lee grabbed three titles at the 2006 Canadian Open
last Sunday.Lee was in action in three of the five finals played in front of RDS'
cameras at the Complexe de Bois-de-Boulogne, in the Montreal suburb of
In the first final of the day, ex-world champion Howard Bach
and Eva Lee quickly disposed of Canadians William Milroy and Tammy Sun. 21-19,
21-15. The first seeds never seemed comfortable and were not able to counter
Bach's powerful smash.
"Eva and I wanted to play in more tournaments so we decided to
come here, even though it's a smaller tournament," said a friendly Bach after
his victory. `Smaller wins like this one help us build our confidence. Our goal
is to win a medal at the the next Olympics. It is realistic because the new
scoring system makes the teams more equal."
England's Toby Honey grabbed the honour in men's singles
against Richard Vaughan, due to his superior defence and mobility.
The 23-year old part-time student in architecture, who grabbed
his first title since the 2005 Cuba International, commented on his match.
"Richard had poor defence today. All I had to do was to keep the shuttle flat
and avoid lifting as much as possible. I'm very happy not only because this
tournament is bigger than the Cuba International, but also because I was
thinking of quitting just a few months ago. Now I can say that my hard training
has finally paid off."
In her second match of the day, American Eva Lee had two
opponents to overcome: veteran Denyse Julien and a partisan crowd. The youngster
dealt with the situation in brilliant fashion.
The shy American never lost her concentration and knew exactly
what to do to put Julien in trouble. With a clever mix of net shots and pushes
to the back of the court, Lee often wrong-footed her opponent and easily won the
match 21-12, 21-12.
Despite her loss, the crowd spontaneously rose to acclaim
Julien at the end of the match, in recognition of her outstanding career. Close
to tears, the veteran player acknowledged the crowd's reaction with a wave of
The next match, the men's doubles, was without a doubt the best
of the day. First seeds Mike Beres and William Milroy didn't lose a second and
roared to a 21-16 first set against Americans Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong.
Beres and Milroy brilliantly used their talent in mixed doubles to play flat
exchanges, leaving no room for the Americans to attack.
The Canadians' concentration wobbled a bit in the second set.
After coming back to even the score at 19-19, a mistake by Beres was followed by
an even bigger one when Milroy missed a floater at the net, to the crowd's
The last set was a close affair until the Canadians changed
sides when they first reached 11 points, as opposed to 10 for USA. The first
seeds then sailed through the rest of the game, letting Bach and Malaythong
score only two more points.
"We are extremely happy to win this match," said soft-spoken Mike
Beres after the medal ceremony. "It's probably the best match Will and I have
ever played. We were able to dictate the game all along, even though we lost the
second set. Our strategy made such a big difference today. All we had to do was
stay mentally sharp and continue with our strategy," added the 33-year-old
Howard Bach had a different perspective on the match. "We are a
bit disappointed. We would have hoped to at least play more matches before
getting into the final. We got to play only one game due to two walkovers."
The last final of the day was a one-way encounter between
Americans Eva Lee and Mesinee Mangkalakiri with the Swiss-German pair of Huwaina
Razi and Caren Hueckstaedt. The Europeans made too many mistakes, enabling Eva
Lee to grab her third title of the day.
MXD: Howard Bach / Eva Lee (USA) b. William Milroy / Tammy Sun
(CAN) 21-19, 21-15
MS: Toby Honey (ENG) b. Richard Vaughan (WAL) 21-19,
WS: Eva Lee (USA) b. Denyse Julien (CAN) 21-12, 21-12
MD: William Milroy / Mike Beres (CAN) b. Khan Bob Malaythong /
Howard Bach (USA) 21-16, 19-21, 21-12
WD: Eva Lee / Mesinee Mangkalakiri (USA) b. Huwaina Razi (SUI)
/ Caren Hueckstaedt (GER) 21-13, 21-14
Last Modified on 23/11/2006 10:02