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The top seeds at the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open found things a bit tougher on day three as they tried to win through to the quarterfinals of play at the US$50,000 tournament at the North Shore Events Centre.
Former world No3, now ranked at 21, Simon Santoso (Indonesia) was taken to three games by Parinyawat Thongnuam (Thailand) eventually winning 20-22 21-17 21-17 in one hour and seven minutes. While third seed Ajay Jayaram(India) took two minutes longer in his win over 12th seed Ji Hoon Hong(Korea) and Australian Open runner up Xue Song(China) defeated the seventh seed-Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo(Indonesia) also in over an hour.
The women’s top seed Hsiao Ma Pai(Taipei) was able to dispatch North Harbour’s Vicki Copeland in straight games in what was always going to be an uphill battle for the Kiwi as she took on the hot favourite and world No19 ranked Pai. Copeland fought strongly in the first game but struggled to match the more experienced Pai, who controlled the game for a 21-11 21-5 victory. Copeland also lost her mixed second round match, teaming with Luke Charlesworth(Waitakere) going down to a Malaysian pair in straight games.
Women’s singles second seed and current No39, Kaori Imabeppu from Japan fell in her second round singles to Korea’s Hae Won Kang in three games in just under an hour
Top seeds mixed seed Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili of Indonesia were challenged initially by the unseeded Chinese pair of Liu Yuchen and Dongping Huang but eventually won through to the quarterfinals as did the men’s top seeds and Australian Open winners Ryan Saputra and Angga Pratama.