Players lining up for the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open to be held on the North Shore starting tomorrow are in good form after dominating the titles at the big Australian Open over the weekend. The fact four title winners from the US$120,000 tournament in Sydney are taking part in Auckland’s US$50,000 event has significantly added to the strength of the field of 250 players from 19 different countries.
Unseeded Houwei Tian from China a former world junior champ won the singles title in Sydney after beating world No1 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) in the semifinals and then a countryman in the final.
He will also be unseeded in Auckland and takes on fifth seed Anand Pawar from India in the first round in the feature match on day one.
The other title winners in Australia were all Indonesian pairs in the men’s and women’s doubles and the mixed and all will be playing this week in New Zealand.
Top men’s singles seed is former world No3 Simon Santoso from Indonesia who currently sits at No21 in the world. The No1 Kiwi man is Joe Wu. The women’s main draw singles is headed by Taipei’s Hsiao Ma Pai at with a ranking of 21 as top seed.
Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Oliver Leydon-Davis the top Kiwi men’s doubles combination face sixth seeds and world No51 ranked pair Chen Hung Ling and Lu Chia Bin(Chinese Taipei) in the first round. There are five seeded teams in the top 20 rankings.
The women’s doubles draw and the mixed draw are highly competitive. World No12 pair Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili(Indonesia) head the mixed while Kiwi brother and sister pair of Susannah and Oliver Leydon-Davis play seventh seeds Chen Hung Ling and Wu Ti Jung(Chinese Taipei) in the first round.
The New Zealand Badminton Open will be held from 10-14 April 2013 at the North Shore Events Centre, Auckland. Qualifying play starts from 9am Wednesday 10 April with main draw men’s singles from 5pm.