Sony Kuncoro’s excellent run of form continues on as the 7th seed progressed to the last 4 with a two game victory over Wong Choong Hann of Malaysia setting up a semi final clash with top seed Lee Chong Wei. The Malaysian had to battle his way past Kenichi Tago, the 8th seed in three games to book his place in tomorrow semi final. The other semi final sees 3rd seed Tien Minh Nguyen, who defeated Sho Sasaki in the quarter finals today take on 2nd seed and local favourite Taufik Hidayat who won his all-Indonesian clash with Simon Santoso in just over an hour in three games.
Saina Nehwal is on course for her second Super Series title in two weeks after defeating 8th seeded Ella Diehl in today’s quarter final. She takes on 4th seeded Eriko Hirose in the last 4 after defeating 5th seeded Yao Jie in three tight games. The other semi final is an unseeded affair, with local qualifier Ana Rovita coming through an all-Indonesian quarter final to book her place in the semi final against Sayaka Sato, who defeated Zhou Mi in Round 1 and Yip Pui Yin in the Quarter Finals, the only two seeds on the bottom half of the draw.
Only one seed remains in the men’s doubles, with the 6th seeded Hashimoto and Hirata defeating top seeded Koo and Tan in the quarter finals. They play unseeded Koreans Cho and Kwon after they defeated the 8th seeded Kim and Shin in an all-Korean quarter final. Clark and Robertson continue their excellent vein of form as they beat Indonesian pair Ahsan and Septano in the last 8. They will play Fang and Lee in the semis after they took out the 5th seeded Bach and Gunawan of the USA.
Widianto and Natsir edge ever closer to winning their home tournament as they stormed into the semi finals, where they will play Mateusiak and Zieba of Poland who came through a three game match with unseeded Indonesian pair of Teng and Bernadet in the quarters. The unseeded Indonesian/Russian pairing of Russkikih and Setiawan are also through to the last 4, the remaining unseeded pair in the mixed doubles draw. They will play the 7th seeded Korean pair of Ko and Ha who defeated the 2nd seed and current world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl in their quarter final match.
Asia’s top players are in Delhi this week to crown a new Asian champion and with most of the Chinese players opting out, the draws are wide open.
World number 1 Lee Chong Wei has opted out of the event as he did in Switzerland last month after his All-England success, leaving the top seeding to go to Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat. The Indonesian plays a qualifier in his opening round match. The second seed is one of the few Chinese players in the draw, but he is one of the favourites for the title. Lin Dan will look to put a poor start to 2010 behind him and claim his first title of the year; he plays Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon in the opening round. The main challenger will be 6th seed Kenichi Tago, who will try to regain the form that took him to the All-England Final last month; he begins his campaign against Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia.
Top seed Saina Nehwal will represent India as she looks to take Asian gold in her home nation; she begins her campaign again Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand. Her main challenge will come from Mi Zhou of Hong Kong, the second seed starts her campaign with a match against Maria Kristin Yulianti of Indonesia. There are also 3 Japanese seeds that could potentially win the title, Eriko Hirose (seeded 3), Ai Goto (seeded 6) and Sayaka Sato (seeded 8th) who could all be a threat to Nehwal’s chances of Asian gold.
With no Cai and Fu or Lee and Jung this week, the top seeding goes to Chinese Taipei pairing of Chen and Lin. They start their campaign against Liu and Qiu of China. Hashimoto and Hirata of Japan are the second seeds and play against local pairing of Dewalkar and Vishnu in the first round; they are one of 3 Japanese seeds in the men’s doubles. There arelocal expectations in the 3rd seeded Kumar and Thomas of India who play a pair from Bangladesh in the opening round.
The Japanese have yet another 3 seeds in the women’s doubles, including the top two seeds for the event. Number 1 seeds Fujii and Kakiiwa begin their campaign against Eom and Jang of Korea, with the second seeded Maeda and Suetsuna playing a qualifier in round 1. Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei will hope to overcome their higher seeded opponents, with the 3rd seeds beginning their campaign against Choi and Park of Korea in their opening round match.
Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan were well represented in today’s final day in New Zealand. The Indonesian pair of Anisa Wahyun and Anneke Feinya Agustine disposed of the top seeded Hong Kong pair 21-19, 21-17 to win the Womens Doubles final.
Hong Kong was guaranteed the Mens Singles title as both players represented Hong Kong. Top Seeded Yan Kit Chan beat his countryman in two easy games 21-9, 21-9 to bring Wing Ki Wong’s excellent tournament to an end.
Japan’s Sayaka Sato secured the Ladies’ singles after a relatively straightforward win over Maria Febe Kusumastuti in two games, 21-10 and 21-16. The Japanese had another chance to win a second title in the Mens Doubles, Noriyasu Hirata and Hirokatsu Hashimoto played top seeded Indian pair of Rupesh K.T. Kumar and Sanave Thomas in the final. After sharing the opening 2 games, the Indian pair took the 3rd set 21-13.
The Mixed Doubles was won by Indonesian pair of Fran Kurniawan Teng and Pia Zebadiah Bernadet 21-13, 21-19 to secure Indonesia’s second title at the NZ Open. Defeating top seeds Hoi Wah Chau and Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama of Hong Kong.
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