If you were following my updates to last week’s New Zealand Open you’ll recall my complaint about the limited number of top players that could actually contend for the title, well this week in China we do not have that problem. With the exception of Joachim Persson and Park Sung Hwan I would say that every single one of the seeds at this event have the potential to win. Now, both of these guys have the potential to have a breakthrough, but a win at this level would be just that.
I’m excited to see a Peter Gade vs Lin Dan showdown in the finals, but they’ll both have to make it there and the competition is fierce. At these events you have few freebies, although Lin Dan was sending a message in his first match winning 21-2, 21-11. That should make it clear to all of the other contenders that Lin Dan is not as rusty as we might expect. Let’s see how he does against promising young upstart Gong Weijie (I played this guy when he was like 15 or 14 years old, he demolished me when I was 19 years old).
Lin Dan vs Taufik Hidayat at the 2007 French Open (just felt like posting a Lin Dan video)
Lee Tsuen Seng must be a big fan of New Zealand by now. He won back in 2006, I’m not sure about 2007, and now he has won again in 2008 at the KLRC New Zealand Open. Lee defeated his teammate Sairul Ayob Amar 24-22, 21-17 to take th title. I’m not surprised, Lee is a strong player. He has struggled to do much beyond the top 20 in the world rankings, but he is capable of the occasional upset. Now what I’m really looking forward to is next week’s China Open Super Series!
video of Lee Tsuen Seng at the 2007 US Open for those of you who don’t know who he is
No upsets still at the KLRC New Zealand Open. First seed Sairul Ayob defeated hometown favourite John Moody 21-16, 21-15 which is a pretty impressive effort from Mr. Moody. I had hoped that the youngster Tommy Sugiarto might be able to pull of some upsets, but he was knocked out by Chinese Taipei’s Yu Hsin Hsieh in three games 12-21, 21-16, 21-9. The big winner of this event is Scotland’s Alistair Casey who has had an especially easy draw to the semi finals after Roslin Hashim withdrew. He plays Malaysia’s Lee Tsuen Seng.