MACAU OPEN 2007 – Macau Marred by Missing Stars

Before the action had even begun at the Macau Open, it was the matches that wouldn’t happen that created the first buzz of the tournament. Hardest hit were the two […]

ImageBefore the action had even begun at the , it was the matches that wouldn’t happen that created the first buzz of the tournament. Hardest hit were the two singles draws which have been left without their top seeds. Moreover, there is now almost no chance of an all-Chinese final in either event as the only Chinese player left in the top half of either draw is Gong Weijie in the men’s.

By Don Hearn; Photos: Badmintonphoto

The crowd will be denied any rematches of the year’s most memorable upsets as defending champion Lin Dan (pictured) is out of Park Sung-hwan’s half and Kendrick Lee is missing the chance to repeat the early elimination of Chen Jin that he accomplished in Singapore. The absence of both Chen Yu and Simon Santoso will prevent their rematch from Singapore and giant-killer Ronald Susilo is also staying home and allowing all the seeds to breath a little easier.

With Bao Chunlai, Chen Jin, Chen Hong, Lee Hyun-il, and Wong Choong Hann all in the bottom half of the draw, the fans will still be certain to see plenty of drama before the final. Meanwhile, if the top half goes by the seeds, Taufik Hidayat and Park Sung-hwan will meet in the semi-finals; however, Roslin Hashim and Andre Kurniawan Tedjono are also wont to cause their share of upsets.
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Top seed Zhang Ning withdrew from the women’s event along with both World Championships finalists Wang Chen and Zhu Lin. Unless Zhou Mi is at her very best, the bottom half will likely produce a Chinese finalist from among Xie Xingfang, Lu Lan, and Wang Lin while the top half may well end in a repeat of the Japan Open quarter-final matchup between Jun Jae-youn and Yip Pui Yin. However, it also a golden opportunity to shine for some of Southeast Asia’s hottest stars, including Li Li, Salakjit Ponsana, and Pia Zebadiah Bernadet.

India’s Saina Nehwal will also be energized by being spared a first-round match against Zhang Ning and will be anxious to reach her first final since her Philippines Open victory last year. Much the same is true for Adriyanti Firdasari (pictured), who will not have to face the World Champion in her first round match and will have a final opportunity for a good result in Asia before she heads to Europe to defend her Dutch Open title.

The women’s doubles lost its 5th seeds Zhao Tingting and Yu Yang of China and Lilyana Natsir and Vita Marissa seem content with their finals appearances in two Chinese territories and have decided to give the Macau S.A.R. a miss.

The mixed doubles draw, which was to have been a showcase for some brand-new pairings saw the withdrawal of Zheng Bo/Yu Yang, Muhammad Rijal/Lilyana Natsir, and the old partnership of Nova Widianto/Vita Marissa. The only experiment that survives is scratch pairing of Lee Kyung-won and Hwang Ji-man of Korea, who join the other three relatively new Korean mixed pairings.

For the complete draws and results of the qualification rounds, see HERE

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net