NEW ZEALAND OPEN 2007 – Strong field in New Zealand

The KLRC NZ Open will start in Auckland next week with the strongest draw seen in the Oceania Region for a long time. The KLRCNZ Open is Oceania’s most prestigious […]

ImageThe KLRC NZ Open will start in Auckland next week with the strongest draw seen in the Oceania Region for a long time. The KLRCNZ Open is Oceania’s most prestigious badminton tournament, now in its third year as a event, and has attracted players from around the world.

By Lynne Scutt, Badzine Correspondent in New Zealand

Andrew Smith (ENG) heads the men’s singles as top seed but will have to get through Malaysian players if he wants to make the final. 2006 NZ Open winner Lee Tsuen Seng and Roslin Hashim are seeded second and third respectively while Wong Choong Hann is unseeded and will be hard to beat.

The women’s singles draw looks very exciting. Top seeded Frenchwoman Pi Hongyan is drawn to meet a couple of Singaporeans in the early rounds and then hopefully local NZ No.1 Rachel Hindley in the quarter-finals. Other strong contenders for the title will be Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tracey Hallam (England) and Yip Pui Yin (HK). One of the most interesting matches will be the second round clash of last year’s winner Huang Chia Chi (aus) and unseeded ex-Chinese player Zhou Mi (HK).

Malaysians should dominate the men’s doubles but top seeds from Hong Kong might be the only pair to be able to stop a Malaysian sweep of the medals in this event.

In the ladies’ doubles KLRC’s Joanne Quay & Lim Pek Siah are the top seeds and should meet the English pair of Suzanne Rayappan & Jenny Wallwork in the semi-final. The other semi-final should see France’s Elodie Eymard & Weny Rahmawati compete against Singapore’s Vanessa Neo & Shinta Mulia Sari.

Local interest and support will definitely be for the top seeds in the mixed doubles, NZ’s Daniel Shirley and KLRC’s Joanne Quay. The NZ public would love to see and cheer for a New Zealander on finals day. The draw is evenly spread and the best games will start from the quarterfinals on Friday night.

The draws are full of young NZ players keen to gain experience in competing and watching world-ranked players.

Say tuned for more info on Badzine all next week!

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