My Badminton and Life Blog

My Badminton and Life Blog

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2013 US Open Grand Prix Gold

The month of July saw me go back to Orange County in/outside of LA for the US Open tournament. This would be the 4th consecutive year that I had played the tournament. Some big names were on the list Lin Dan of China was signed up bit withdrew before the final withdrawal deadline. Tien Minh Nguyen was one of the top seeds at the tournament and would end up winning it. The difference this time is that I wouldn't be traveling down there alone. A fellow countryman from Trinidad and Tobago would be accompanying me to both this tournament and to the Canada Open the week after. He was a junior from Trinidad and we were going to play doubles together as well as both being entered into the singles draw. Then for doubles we were in qualification since we have never played together at an international before.

OCBC, The US Open Tournament Venue
So the day came and I flew down to LAX then awaited pickup to begin the long drive to Orange County in Anaheim where the tournament was being held at Orange County Badminton Club (OCBC). It was decently early in the day so I had a good amount of time to browse around and relax. The tournament didn't start for another 2 days which would leave the following day for practice and then the subsequent day for matches. I was in main draw for singles for the 2nd consecutive year which was nice. Jason however was in qualification and was playing a Canadian player for a spot in the main draw. We were able to get in 2 sessions of hitting in the main venue, one in the morning and then a following one that night. The following morning saw the qualification matches roll around. Jason played his singles against the Canadian and unfortunately didn't make it to main draw after a hard fought battle. Doubles qualification was tough as we had to play a pair from China who in all honesty didn't have to try hard to beat us. That was the end of qualifications and I had a little bit of time to kill before the main draw singles matches started that night.

Fast forward to around 6pm that night and main draw started with some great matches. My match came up and I was playing a doubles player from USA. That was quite the match. I ended up winning the 1st game in a close fight after running him to the ground but then he changed his strategy in the 2nd game and I made a ton of mistakes. So it went to the decider, he was up very quickly and it was a huge seemingly impossible gap to come back. But I was able to come back from 9 points down and tie the game at 17-17 unfortunately for me some quick net rolls and huge smashes worked to his advantage and I lost the match in 3. Playing against a doubles player is always something I hated to do, they love to play fast and flat where as I'm not against that but I like to slow things down and run my opponent around to use my fitness. When I was able to do that to this player oh could you ever see how tired he was getting. He had a hammer through and would punish me for any short lift or lose shot, which is where he won his points. My weakest part has always been consistency and strategy; I don't always play the right shots or hesitate and play something I shouldn't.

Part 1 of the match

Part 2, the comeback in the 3rd game got cut off =(

It was a great battle and he was a good player, I am mad that I lost can't believe the simple mistakes that I made. But it was a learning experience and I could just train/work on what needed to be worked on. So that saw the end of the tournament for me. I was mad but happy at the same time because of the great match that I had, would have been so much nicer to male it to the 2nd round and play Tien Minh Nguyen again. My best result at a US Open to date so close yet so far away at the same time.

With the end of the day came the end to both Jason and my time at the tournament. We were both heading up to Vancouver for the Canada Open and flying there directly from LA so had a few days to kill before flying out. We didn't get the chance to practice much because of the senior tournament which was using OCBC in the morning with the regular tournament wasn't happening. But the gym at the hotel made for something at least. It was nice to "relax" for a few days and do some shopping at the outlet mall beside the hotel. Catch a movie and soak up the sun. Unfortunately this meant that we didn't go very far from the hotel due to transportation, we walked around the immediate area and saw the crystal cathedral but that's about it. Not to mention I had to do some school work as I was enrolled in both spring and summer courses and of course missing 2 and a half weeks of summer semester which is already just 8 weeks long couldn't be a good thing. So I had some essays due when I got back.

Crystal Cathedral Church
That was the US Open in a nut shell, it's always a fantastic time but being my 4th time down there not much changed. The previous year my friend took me out to the aquarium and other areas to see so that was fun. The one thing I regret is that Disney land is right there in Anaheim it was super close to our hotel that there was even a shuttle bus going there. In all that time I have yet to go to the park and check it out, would have been fun to do with company there but oh well another time. The 2014 US Open will be held out in New York so that will be interesting and also on the other side of the country so even further for me to travel to it. Thankfully I have family there so I will be able to stay with them.

Could see the fireworks nightly from the hotel parking lot

So the end of the trip came and we headed to LAX to catch our flight to Vancouver for the last tournament of the summer for me, Canada Open. 


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