Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes secured first place in Pool B at the Fort Lauderdale Major with a pair of straight set victories over their compatriots.
On Wednesday, the world No.1 duo defeated Taylor Pischke and Jamie Broder (21-13, 21-14) and Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson (21-12, 21-17).
“This game in particular, Mel’s sideout was pretty automatic,” Pavan said of the win over Bansley-Wilkerson. “Honestly, the balls she’s picking up on defence, I’m amazed.”
“Every time I turn around off the block, she’s there making dime digs. Melissa’s making my job easy, she’s playing at a very high level. We’re feeling like a well-oiled machine, I guess you could say.”
In a rare occurrence, three pairs of Canadian squads were drawn into the same pool.
“It’s unfortunate, you don’t want to play your own country in a tournament, let alone twice in the same pool,” Pavan said. “We want to win.”
Pavan and Humana-Paredes will take on the Chinese pair of Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia in playoff action on Friday.
All Canadians advance
Despite losing their respective matches to Pavan and Humana-Paredes, both Canadian women’s pairs will join them in the round-of-16.
On Thursday, Pischke and Broder rebounded from their opening loss to defeat Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek two sets to one (21-14, 14-21, 15-9) and Finland’s Anniina Parkkinen and Taru Lahti-Liukkonen in straight sets (21-15, 23-21).
Pischke and Broder will play Germany’s Margareta Kozuch and Karla Borger in the next round.
Bansley and Wilkerson eliminated Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Niina Ahtiainen in straight sets (21-19, 21-16) and will face Brazil’s Barbara Seixas de Freitas and Fernanda Alves.
Canadian men also into playoffs
On Wednesday, Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton opened up their tournament with a three-set victory (21-19, 20-22, 15-13) over Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow in another all-Canadian clash.
O’Gorman and Saxton were subsequently defeated in straight sets (15-21, 16-21) by the top-seeded American duo of Philip Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena.
Schachter and Pedlow bounced back with a straight sets win (21-13, 21-17) over Norway’s Hendrik Nikolai Mol and Mathias Berntsen.
Both Canadian men’s pairs advanced to Friday’s playoffs.
O’Gorman and Saxton will play the American pair of John Hyden and Theodore Brunner while Schachter and Pedlow square off against Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst.
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