So I had only about 2 weeks until the Canada Open from when I returned from Venezuela. That was not much time considering at that point it had been 2 weeks since I really trained or did any sort of fitness and weights (aside from some stuff in the hotel room). That being said I was signed up to play only men’s singles for the tournament. It was originally to be held out easy but due to some stuff the tournament stayed in Vancouver for this year. Unfortunately due to the short notice of the change it would be at a new venue, no longer the Richmond Olympic Oval but rather the UBC thunder dome. As far as venues goes the Olympic Oval was a good location and drew in many people to watch but as for the quality of the venue the Oval was a shitty place to play in for many reasons. The simplest being the vast size of the venue, it is huge and high, there are windows and lights all over not to mention some major drafts (yes that is the issue with a lot of venues all over the world). Badminton Canada didn’t have much time to get everything together and although players did complain about the conditions, court mats right over the concrete so hard floors, the set up was very well done and looked quite professional. It is actually one of the few big venues that I felt very comfortable playing in.
|Panorama while courtside during practice times|
|The full set up, practice courts on the left and main courts on the right|
Like always I was the only Trinidad and Tobago player playing the tournament but I had many friends playing both from other countries as well as many Canadians that I knew too. This allowed me to get in a lot of practice time at the main venue. The best part was the practice courts were right beside the main courts (separated by a divider) but that meant that the conditions were exactly the same and made adapting a lot quicker. Something that is not the norm at all tournaments with them having different areas for the practice courts and the main courts sometimes with drastically different conditions.
Since I was living in Richmond this meant that I didn’t really have to fly anywhere or spend money on hotel which was very nice for a change so that I could save some cash. I just had to take the bus to UBC and that’s all which was easy to do. The draw came out and I would play the winner of a qualification draw, in the end that ended up being a Canadian junior player. I was feeling a little nervous but in the end I prevailed after a scare, I won the 1st game very close and then lost the 2nd game in extra points. The third game came around and that’s when I found my game, that’s when I wasn’t nervous anymore and just went for everything, the score wasn’t close in the 3rd I won 21-7. I feel like the match shouldn’t have gone to 3 but what can you do in the end a win is a win regardless. So now that I survived the 1st round I would get a nice boost of points which would be great and then I would play the winner between the 2nd seed and a Korean qualifier. That night was an upset as the Korean qualifier won against Eric Pang of the Netherlands. So the following evening I would be up against Ju Hyung Shon of Korea and that was a fun match, there was no expectations on me and I could play freely, but that didn’t stop me from making poor strategically choices which cost me the match after having good rallies with him. It was fun to play against a player like him and he was very nice after the match too. All is all though the experience was a good one, winning a round at a grand prix level tournament felt nice and after the crappy tournaments that occurred in South America it was a confidence booster that I dearly need.
|Damn dat ads, HaHa yes I do have a squat ass|
|Uh oh I almost went the wrong way|
|Getting ready to serve|
*Photos courtesy of Oliver Shou
After that it meant that my time at the Canada open had come to an end, I was knocked out of the tournament but was happy with the final result of making it to the 2nd round. I would only have a few days left to prepare for US Open which this year had been moved to Long Island in New York. That meant that I would be flying out again this time to NYC, I have family there but would only get to spend 2 days with them after which it was off to Calgary yet again this time to get my bottom 2 wisdom teeth out. Something which I had been putting off for a while and was not looking forward to.
My match against the Korean Ju Hyung Shown with my good friend Oliver Shou doing the cheering: