NEW ZEALAND OPEN 2013 Day 2 – April is her month

Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella was one of 6 first-time Grand Prix Gold winners from last week back in action this week in the Skycity New Zealand Open, where she and […]

Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella was one of 6 first-time Gold winners from last week back in action this week in the Skycity , where she and the other 4 such Indonesians all got off to a winning start.

By Kira Rin, Badzine Correspondent live in Auckland.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Day 1 The Southern Cross shines upon the seeds…maybe?

The New Zealand Open started off on Wednesday with a long morning of qualifiers and then a long evening of the 1st round of men’s singles. The Southern Cross shone differently for the seeds in men’s singles; while qualifying round’s 3rd seed Lim Kai Yi and 4th seed Jordan Mcmahon fell in their first matches, all seeded players in the main draw progressed through their first matches, with the exception of Qiao Bin, who fell to Korea’s Hwang Jong Soo, who thus earned the right to face off against Qiao’s increasingly dangerous team-mate Xue Song.

The departure of Xue’s opponent from Sunday in Sydney was perhaps the biggest news from Wednesday, however.  Though unseeded, Tian Houwei heaped expectations on himself with his maiden Grand Prix Gold title in Australia.  However, he couldn’t cope  with India’s Anand Pawar (pictured) in the first round in New Zealand.

And the seeds start falling down…

Day 2 was packed with yet another almost 12 hours of badminton, most of it an unusually late round of 32.  This day was not without its shares of upsets.  Men’s singles 10th seed Indonesian Riyanto Subagja was the first to fall, losing in a very tight 3-game match that ended in Sukamta Evert’s favour.

In mixed doubles , 8th-seeded  Lin Yen Jui and Pai Hsiao Ma of Chinese Taipei were the next to fall to Australia’s Ross Smith and Renuga Veeran, but not without Hsiao Ma showing how versatile she was at playing singles and doubles simultaneously in a tournament.

At world rank no. 18, the Malaysian pair of Gan Teik Chai and Ong Soon Hock were the highest ranked players to fall this day, losing to Indonesia’s Berry Angriawan and Yohanes Rendy Sugiarto.

A single magical match of singles

Australia Open finalist Xue Song and Hwang Jong Soo (pictured) played a very tactical and careful game of men’s singles, in contrast to the other fast and hectic doubles matches on the courts around them. They both played with grace and style, carefully moulding their opportunities before seizing them.

A nerve-wracking first game that he only managed to eke out a 27-25 win from did not deter Xue from continuing his precise attacks, which enabled him to take home the match with smashes that landed ever so close to the lines.

New pairings – Experience counts!

Vita Marissa and her partner of 4 months, Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella (pictured top), put an end to a pair even newer than them. Jang Ye Na, with her partner Kim So Young, playing in their second tournament – in fact, their second match – together, were able to rush to take the first game but could only watch as the next two slipped away to the Indonesians, who had the merit of being paired a little longer than them, not to mention the confidence from their Australian Open title last week.

Variella said of the match: “The Koreans were very strong and kept driving, so we were forced to play with a tactical mindset to get points off them.”

She also said of their next upcoming match, “I am confident, even if we have to play strong players. I will try my best.”

Click here for complete Day 2 results

About Kira Rin