The top two seeds of women’s singles – Beiwen Zhang and Michelle Li – will play in a blockbuster Pan Am Individual Championships final in El Salvador today.
Defending champion Beiwen got the better of Talia Ng 21-19 21-19 in the quarterfinals but was pushed to three games by another Canadian Rachel Chan before prevailing 21-19 20-22 21-6.
Four-time winner Li on the other hand, picked up straightforward wins over Haramara Gaitan (21-19 21-9) and Iris Wang (21-14 21-18) to qualify for her sixth continental final.
World No.14 Beiwen leads her Canadian world No.12 rival 4-3 in their overall duels but the pair have never met at the Pan Am event. It has also been two years since they played each other – Beiwen won 21-18 21-18 in the 2019 Hong Kong Open first round.
Men’s singles will also see the No.1 and No.2 seeds go for the title, with Brian Yang and Kevin Cordon clearing arduous semifinal hurdles against Ygor Coelho and home hope Uriel Francisco Canjura Artiga.
Coelho kept title holder Yang on court for 42 minutes before going down 21-17 10-21 8-21 but an even more determined Artiga held Cordon for longer – 62 minutes – in his 21-18 18-21 21-13 loss.
Guatemalan Cordon, whose last of two singles titles came in 2012, is 7-0 behind Canada’s Yang in their head-to-head.
In mixed doubles, top seeds Fabricio Farias/Jaqueline Lima could not make it past the quarterfinal stage as they fell 21-19 21-6 to Nyl Yakura/Crystal Lai.