PHILIPPINE OPEN 2007 – Seeds Disappear from Draw, Disappointing Fans

The first day of the tournament already created some disgust among the local crowds as many players withdrew from the tournament. As many as 21 players withdrew from the competition […]

ImageThe first day of the tournament already created some disgust among the local crowds as many players withdrew from the tournament. As many as 21 players withdrew from the competition at the last minute. Some cited injuries as reasons and still others claimed to be recovering from illness. It is difficult to blame the players for withdrawing as some of them just finished the China Masters a few days ago and some are getting ready for the World Championships in August.

By Ants Kong, Badzine Correspondent, Live in Manila; Photos: Badmintonphoto (Archives)

However, when there are withdrawals, it often means a better chance for others to advance in the tournament. For example, Yonekura Kanako was promoted to the main draw after French star Pi-Hongyan withdrew from the event.

“I’m prepared for the event and my aim to go as far as possible,” said Yonekura.

In fact, the Japanese players have received quite a bit of attention amongst the locals here, especially the fans’ favourite pair, Ogura Kumiko/Shiota Reiko (pictured left).

“Our aim is to win here in the Philippine Open,” cited second seed Shiota, whose teammates, fifth seeds Akao Aki/Matsuda Tomomi, were one of two pairs to strike themselves from the women’s doubles draw.

Fujii Muzuki, a newcomer in the women’s singles department representing Japan, said after beating Malaysia’s Swee Yen Hooi in the final qualifying round, “I’m excited to be able to advance to the main draw, and I want to have a good result here in the Philippine Open.”

Wong Plays it Safe

Wong Choong Han, the runner-up in the China Masters on Sunday, also waited until this week to opt out of the tournament.

“After playing grueling matches is China, my knees feel uncomfortable. The feeling didn’t disappear when I arrived in Manila. I’m not going to risk getting injured again,” he said before going back to Kuala Lumpur.

So far, the men’s singles draw, although hardest hit with 9 players pulling out, still boasts a formidable field with names like Chen Hong, Kenneth Jonassen, Lee Chong Wei, Hafiz Hashim, Lee Hyun-il, and Bao Chunlai set to keep it a proverbial thrilla in Manila.

Below is an incomplete list of notable withdrawals:

MS: Wong Choong Han, Kuan Beng Hong, M. Roslin Hashim(MAS), Simon Santoso(INA)

WS: Wong Mew Choo(MAS), Pi Hongyan(FRA)

WD: Matsuda/Akao(JPN), Neo/Sari (SIN)

MD: Nop/Kinderwater(GER)

MX: Zhang/Zhao(CHN)

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