The quarterfinals of the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open became a graveyard for some of the world’s best as the top seeds in both the men’s and women’s were knocked out of competition in tough contests.
Being a former world No3 and current No21 ranked player meant nothing as Indonesian Simon Santoso was shown little respect by Korean, Dong Keun Lee.
In a match where Santoso never looked comfortable the top seed was defeated 21-19 13-21 21-18 by Lee in just over an hour.
Chinese qualifier Xue Song proved to be a real emerging talent after being a runner up in the big Australian Open last week he beat third seed Ajay Jayaram from India in the quarterfinals and now will take on Lee in what should prove to be a close affair in the semis.
In the women’s singles draw both of the top seeds were sent packing. Hsiao Ma Pai in the quarterfinals while Kaori Imabeppu lost earlier in the second round to Hae Won Kang from Korea who now plays the third seed Xuan Deng.
Pai was beaten by sixth seeded Chinese player Xue Yao 21-10 16-21 21-10 in 54 minutes, suffering a leg injury late in her match. Yao will play Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) in her semifinal.
Through to the mixed semifinals are world No12 and top seeds Riky Widianto and Puspita Dili from Indonesia who will take on Korean sixth seeds Dae Eun Kim and So Young Kim. The other semi features the fifth seeds against the seventh seeds.
Earlier in the day the last New Zealand players were beaten with North Harbour’s Vicki Copeland losing to Pai in straight games and then combining with Waitakere’s Luke Charlesworth in the mixed but finding third seeds Aik Quan Tan and Pei Jing Lai from Taipei too tough.
Women’s doubles top seeds Khe Wei Woon and Vivian Hoo (Malaysia) are safely through to the semifinals but all other pairs are unseeded. Meanwhile there’s an enticing men’s doubles semifinal when top seeds and No13 ranked pair from Indonesia Ryan Saputra and Angga Pratama take on countrymen Bona Septano and Afiat Wirawan.