Greeting from Andrew Dabeka

Sep 01 13:14:05 2007

Dear Friends,

Another tournament has just finished for me. I would say it has been a very successful event here for me in Orange County, California. Being a Grand Prix level tournament, there were lots of points to be won here, and making the semi-final, as I did, will really help me to qualify for the Olympic Games.

The play started on Tuesday. I had battle after battle from the first round. My first match was against the U19 Canadian Champion from this year, David Snider of Manitoba. He really took me by surprise, playing a very mature game for his age, and snuck out the first set 21-19. I took control after that, and won the next two games, but I really had to bear down and work hard to finish him off.

My second round was against Kennevic Asuncion of the Philippines. I knew this was going to be a tricky match, and it was. Ken is a pure attacker out there, with powerful smashes and aggressive counter strokes. His fitness is where he is the weakest. From the start of the match, I played a solid style, absorbing his attack and even countering his aggressive strokes, which was perfect. I really built a big lead and won it 21-14. In the second set, he really changed his style and played a neutral game, and made me do the work. We were tight all the way to 20-all, but in the end, I stayed calm and chased down a few difficult shuttles and took it 24-22.

My quarter-final, based on the seedings, was supposed to be against Shoji Sato of Japan, who is ranked in the top 15 in the world. Things worked out beautifully for me and Sato was upset by Scott Evans of Ireland. I have played Scott once in tournament action and once in practice and won both times, so this was a great opportunity for me. The match ended once again in a very dramatic style. I more or less killed him in the firt set, then he killed me in the second, and the third was back and forth until he was leading 20-19. On this match point, he smashed the shuttle a millimetre out, so it was 20-all. I got the first point, getting my first match point at 21-20. He tied it up 22-all. I then went up 23-22, and with a magical flick serve over his head, I won the match!

In the semi-final, I played Yosuke Nakanishi of Japan, the same opponent I faced in the final of this tournament last year. I have to say I played much better this time compared to last year, though I still lost the match, 21-16, 21-19. I had my chances in the second set, leading 19-18, but he played much more solid than I in the end. That being said, I am again happy with my progression. I am stiill very focused on the 'whys' of my performance, and on what I need to do to improve. It is the focus that will give me consistent and improving results over the course of the season.

I am in Los Angeles for another 2 nights before flying to Saskatoon for the Canadian Open. I have a challenging draw there, so I must really just focus on my performance and keeping my level as high as possible, match by match. Simple as that!

Wishing you all warm (30+degrees) regards from California!


ANDREW ROBERT DABEKA (c) 613.222.3302

Last email on Aug 14, Jult 31 and July 10, 2007

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