High Quality Match Ups In Early Rounds At Badminton Open
13 July 2017
For immediate release from the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open, for further information visit www.nzbadmintonopen.com
QUALITY MATCH UPS IN EARLY ROUNDS AT SKYCITY NEW ZEALAND
The seeds have been named and the draw confirmed for the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open, a Gold Status Grand Prix event that has again attracted a world class field in all disciplines of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.
And it is the quality and depth of the field that has seen some high-quality match ups in the first rounds, including a Rio Olympic Games silver medallist having to overcome the second seeds in the first round of the mixed doubles and an encounter with the 2016 World Junior Championship silver medallists for one of New Zealand’s leading combinations.
It is the mixed doubles on day one that will have fans eager to catch the action from the start of the tournament, with Chan Peng Soon (Malaysia) and Cheah Yee See drawn against the second-seeded Indonesian pairing.
Event Director Julie Carrel says while it is a shame to think of losing either combination so early, it reflects the quality of players coming to New Zealand.
“As an individual Chan is arguably the star male player on show at the tournament. As defending SKYCITY New Zealand Open mixed doubles champion, he won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics and has a great record in the game but he and young (21-year-old) partner Cheah Yee See will have a massive battle just to get into the second round, with Faizal and Aulia (Indonesia) an accomplished pairing – with international wins in Singapore and Malaysia to their names.”
Dylan Soedjasa and Susannah Leydon-Davis meanwhile will have to click quickly on their relatively new partnership, with Susannah’s regular partner and brother Oliver not returning from Europe for the tournament. They play a quality young Chinese combination.
“Dylan and Susannah will have their hands full, but they will relish the chance to play quality international opposition in the former World Junior Championship runners up from China, Zhou Haodong and Xu Ya. Likewise, for Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Danielle Tahuri, the tournament is a great chance for them to step on court against quality opposition – there is surely no better motivation to lift your game than a Gold Status Grand Prix event at home in front of family and friends. It is the same for all the Kiwis in the main draw.”
Kiwi men’s doubles pairing Chance Cheng and Alan Chan play one of the rising combinations in the world, in 2016 World Junior Champions Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong. It is something of a homecoming for Chan, a former New Zealand junior rep, he left seven years ago and played for Hong Kong on the international stage, but has since returned to New Zealand.
In the men’s singles, New Zealand has five starters in the first round, with 16-year-old Westlake Boys High year 12 student Oscar Guo up against Australian Ashwant Gobinathan, with the victor likely to face 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kayshap (India).
Two Kiwis have made the main draw in women’s singles (others play in qualifying), with Kelly Stern drawn against a qualifier and Sally Fu playing Britney Tam (Canada) in her first-round match.
Top seed and former world number one Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) will play 37-year-old Jesica Muljati (Indonesia), a game that the world number nine will be heavily favoured to win, with Carrel saying Intanon is a player to watch.
“Ratchanok is a former world number one and has a wonderful record of big tournament wins, including an amazing three consecutive World Junior Championship titles. She is so experienced for someone of just 22 years of age and will bring a touch of class to the SKYCITY New Zealand Open, fans will not want to miss her.”
The tournament has strong representation from China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Australia and Japan and features 64 New Zealanders, the majority of whom will play in qualifying as they seek places in the main draw events.
The tournament is hosted at the North Shore Events Centre, with an official opening at SKYCITY on Monday July 31st.Qualifying for all events takes place on Tuesday August 1st (along with the men’s singles first round matches).
The tournament builds to a conclusion with live television across the Saturday and Sunday, with all matches hosted at the North Shore Events Centre. Tickets are on sale now.
SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton
Top four seeds in each discipline:
1 Tzu Wei Wang (TPE)
2 Ajay Jayaram (IND)
3 Jonatan Christie (INA)
4 HS Prannoy (IND)
1 Ratchanok Intanon (THA)
2 Fitriani Fitriani (INA)
3 Goh Jin Wei (MAS)
4 Hannah Ramadini (INA)
1 Chen Hung Ling & Wang Chi-Lin (TPE)
2 Ong Yew Sin & Teo Ee Yi (MAS)
3 Manu Attri & Reddy B Sumeeth (IND)
4 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty (IND)
1 Vivian Hoo & Woon Khe Wei (MAS)
2 Setyana Mapasa & Gronya Somerville (AUS)
3 Ashwini Ponnappa & Reddy N Sikki (IND)
4 Ayako Sakuramoto & Yukiko Takahata (JPN)
1 Pranaav Chopra & Reddy N Sikki (IND)
2 Hafiz Faizal & Shela Aulia (INA)
3 Tseng Min Hao & Ling Fang Hu (TPE)
4 Yogendran Khrishnan (MAS) & Prajakta Sawant (IND)