With the absence of world number one Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat was billed as the top seed. However the Indonesian player failed to make it to the quarter-finals stage as he fell to Chinese Taipei’s Hsueh Hsuan Yi in two games 22-20, 21-16. Next up for Hsueh will be All England runner up Kenichi Tago who defeated Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit.
An upset on paper, but hardly a huge surprise was the loss of Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen to Malaysia’s Hafiz Hashim. The lanky Malaysian won in three games 21-19, 14-21, 21-15 to book his place in the quarter-finals against Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana. Number 2 seed Lin Dan has yet to be pushed thus far with a quick 21-8, 21-17 win over Chou Tien Chen from Chinese Taipei.
Saina Nehwal has managed to maintain her top billing thus far with a win over Julia Pei Xian Wong 21-14, 21-16. Saina’s next round will however be more challenging where she faces Malaysia’s top player Wong Mew Choo. Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin failed to live up to her number 4 seeding when she lost poorly to Chinese qualifier Li Xuerui 21-13, 21-8. Another match to watch tomorrow will be the showdown between Salakajit Ponsana and Zhou Mi, however the edge surely goes to Zhou.
Japan had a bad day today in the mens doubles losing both of the teams who were seeded 8th and 2nd. Kenichi Hayakawa and Kenta Kazuno were the first to fall when they lost to Malaysia’s Mak Hee Chun and Tan Wee Kiong 21-17, 21-19. Next it was Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata losing to yet another Malaysian pair Hoon Thien How and Ong Soon Hock 21-17, 21-18. With the exception of these two Japanese pairs all of the other seeds successfully made their way to the quarter-finals.
Similar to the mens doubles the womens doubles lacked much of it’s usual stars with Pan Pan and Tian Qing being the only notable Chinese pair in the draw. The Chinese sixth seeds easily moved past their opponents Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurlan 21-10, 21-12. They will now face second seeds from Japan Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna.
The usually strong Chinese haven’t fared well in the mixed with only one remaining pair. Second seeds Tao Jiaming and Zhang Yawen were upset by Thailand’s Patipat Chalardchaleam and Savitree Amitapai 21-11, 12-21, 21-17. India’s top seeds did better by making their way to the quarter-finals with a solid win over Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu and Chien Yu Chin 24-22, 21-15.
The World Championships first day lived up the expectations, with a shock within the first hour of play as 11th seeded Bao Chunlai crashed out in straight sets to Dutchman Dicky Palyama. He plays Swede Henri Hurskainen in Round 2 with the winner likely to play World and Olympic Champion Lin Dan.
Lin Dan begun his campaign with a straight forward win over Isreali Misha Zilberman, Lee Chong Wei also came through his opening match in straight sets of Dieter Domke to set up a second round match with Ola Fagbemi of Nigeria.
Peter Gade is also through to Round 2, as well as Chan Yan Kit after defeating Kaveh Mehrabi 21-15, 21-11. There was little action from the Women’s Singles today, Belgian Lianne Tan coming through against Elena Prus in two sets gives her a second round match against 15th seeded Maria Kristin Yulianti after the Indonesian defeated Swede Sophia Hansson 21-6, 21-2.
Susan Egelhart defeated Anu Nieminen 21-19, 22-20 to set up a round 2 match with 4th seeded Wang Yihan of China. 14th seeded Wong Mew Choo beat Shannon Pohl of the USA 21-4, 21-6 and will play Ai Goto of Japan in Round 2.
Remarkably, Bao Chunlai was the only seed to be defeated in any of the matches that took place today.
Day 2 will finish off the first round of matches in all the events, with the crowds expected to flock to see Taufik Hidayat began his campaign begin against Swiss Christian Boesiger. 2nd seeded Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir also begin their quest of world championship glory on Tuesday against Belarusian couple Aleksei Konakh and Alesia Zaitsava.
Zheng Bo and Ma Jin (Seeded 3), He Hanbin and Yu Yang (Seeded 4) as well as Xie Zhongbo and Zhang Yawen (Seeded 5) are all in first round action in the Mixed Doubles.
Joachim Persson plays Kenichi Tago in Round 1 of the Men’s Singles in the 3rd match on Court 3, with the 7th Seeded Dane looking to book his place in Round 2 against Kevin Cordon of Guatemala or Marc Zweibler of Germany.
2nd seeded Chen Jin is in first round action against Eric Pang of Netherlands. Another victory for the Dutch over the Chinese in the making?
As we head into the semi-finals of the New Zealand Open Grand Prix, a few countries are well represented. In the men’s singles Hong Kong has two remaining players as Yan Kit Chan and Wing Ki Wong face off against Kazushi Yamada and Andre Tedjono respectively. The unseeded Wing Ki Wong did well to upset England’s number one ranked player Andrew Smith in a lopsided match winning 21-9, 21-16.
In the women’s singles it’s Japan going strong with 3 out of the 4 remaining competitors. Eriko Hirose upset the top seeded Yip Pui Yin 21-11, 21-15 to book her place in the semis against her teammate Sayaka Sato. Meanwhile on the bottom of the draw Indonesia’s Maria Febe Kusumastuti will be facing the second seeded Japanese shuttler Megumi Taruno in hopes of upsetting Japan’s domination in the event.
For more results view the draw:
New Zealand Open Grand Prix 2009 Draws