She’s the only New Zealand player to make it through to the second round of the women’s singles and had to brave a feisty opponent to do so. North Harbour’s Vicki Copeland became the star of the show for the locals early on day two at SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open. The 24-year-old had won through qualifying on day one and then held her nerve to beat India’s Sarada Jasti in a comeback win 18-21 21-17 21-17 in 48 minutes .
The match had Jasti coming close to receiving a yellow card for unsportsmanlike behaviour as Copeland forced errors in her game and was able to become the only Kiwi women through to the second round of singles. The problem for Copeland who was the New Zealand nationals singles finalist is that she will come up against tournament top seed and world No19 Hsiao Ma Pai (Taipei) in the second round in the early afternoon.
Pai had to fight hard and scramble in defence against her Thai opponent Rawinda Prajongjai in the second game as the score went to 21-12 25-23.
Copeland is also in the second round of the mixed doubles after she combined with Waitakere’s Luke Charlesworth to defeat another New Zealand pair, Michael Fowke and Emma Rodgers in straight games.
Other day two women’s singles winners included second seed Kaori Imabeppu (Japan) as well as the fourth seed Yeni Asmarani, seventh seed Renna Suwarno and eighth seed Millicent Wiranto all from Indonesia. Fifth seed Maziyyah Nadhir lost to China’s Di Suo and New Zealand champion Anona Pak was beaten by third seed Deng Xuan (China).
In the men’s singles matches third seed Ajay Jayaram (India) won his second round match but countryman and fifth seed Anand Pawar lost in straight game to Chia-Hsin Wan (Taipei) while top seed and former world No3 Simon Santoso also won. Meanwhile Xue Song (China), the runner up at the Australian Open had a struggle in the first game but eventually overcame a Korean 27-25 21-16
The two local men who were in the second round of singles, both suffered defeats. North Harbour’s Maika Phillips was beaten by an Indonesian while James Eunson, originally from Southland put on his usual acrobatic display but lost to Korea’s Dong Keun Lee.
In the doubles and mixed draws it was a tough day for New Zealand players including the top doubles team of Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Oliver Leydon-Davis who lost to the sixth seeds from Taipei after making a number of unforced errors in a match which could have been closer. Men’s top seeds and Australian Open champs Ryan Saputra and Angga Pratama eased their way into the second.
Dennerly-Minturn and Leydon-Davis also lost their respective mixed contests with Oliver and sister Susannah going down to the seventh seeds while Dennerly-Minturn and Kritteka Gregory lost to a Thailand pair. The top seeds and world No12 in the mixed, Riky Widianto and Puspita Dili cruised through their first round match.