Jamie Broder (Victoria, BC) and Kristina Valjas (Toronto, On) have qualified for the Fuzhou Open semi-finals for their first-ever trip to the medal round.
The day started with all three Canadian teams qualifying for the quarterfinals. Broder/Valjas had to toughest match-up, going down to the wire with Gallay/Klug of Argentina but ultimately prevailing 21-18, 12-21, 16-14 to move on to the quarters.
The other two matches were a little easier, with Melissa Humaña-Paredes (Toronto, On) and Taylor Pischke (Winnipeg, Mb) trouncing Fendrick/Sweat of the U.S. 21-16, 21-13 while Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, On) and Heather Bansley (Waterdown, On) smashed through Greece 21-11, 21-14.
Pavan/Bansley advanced to the quarters to face the top-seeded team from China, Wang Fan/ Yue Y., and their luck would run out against the locals. The Chinese took it in front of their home crowd, 18-21, 21-23, leaving Pavan/Bansley with a fifth place finish- a great start to the season!
With three teams in the quarters, it was almost inevitable that their be an all Canadian match-up. As luck would have it, this time it featured Broder/Valjas vs. Humaña-Paredes/Pischke. Two teams who know each other well, neither wanting to give an inch, a marathon was almost inevitable. Jamie and Kristina jumped out and grabbed the first set 21-16, but Mel and Taylor had a 22-20 answer in the second. The third went down to the way, but Broder/Valjas came out on top with a 15-13 win. They will face Kerri Walsh and April Ross of the U.S. in the semi-finals at 10:05 p.m. EDT/ 7:05 p.m. PDT on Court 1.