Press Release – SKYCITY
16 April 2014
Top Seeds Largely Untroubled At Skycity NZ Badminton Open
The Wednesday evening session at the SKYCITY NZ Badminton Open was highlighted again by the progress of the leading international players and the continued presence of the New Zealanders, with Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Oliver Leydon-Davis leading the way with an impressive straight games win in the Men’s Doubles.
The 7th seeded Kiwis were too good for Michael Fariman and Mitchell Wheller (Australia) and moved through to a round 16 clash with the number 3 seeds from Malaysia, albeit they weren’t totally happy with their performance.
“It is good to register a win in the SKYCITY NZ Open and while it wasn’t our best, it was good to get a win and is something to build on tomorrow,” said Dennerly-Minturn. “We were a bit slow and scratchy at times but we worked together and pulled it through so ultimately we are happy but we need to step up tomorrow against a very good opponent.”
Leydon-Davis echoed the sentiments of his playing partner.
“Like Kev said, it wasn’t quite our A game but maybe we can keep that for tomorrow hopefully and take a few things from tonight into tomorrow but it is always good for the confidence that have that first round win.
“While it is only round two it is such a competitive field this year we really need to be there from 100% tomorrow but we are looking forward to it and hopefully we can put in another good performance. It is always special to play at home and there is a bit of noise out there for us, it gives you that extra 5 or 10% and hopefully it will be the same tomorrow.”
In the Men’s Singles India’s Arvind Bhat again impressed, the tall 5th seed winning in straight games against Hsu Jui Ting (Chinese Taipei) and continue towards a possible quarter final with former world number 1 Le Hyun Il (Korea), although both will first have to overcome their round 3 opponents in the morning sessiontomorrow at the North Shore Events Centre.
Fellow Indian and number 2 seed Sourabh Varma is also through to the next round, not dropping a game so far. Likewise 3rd seed Chun Seang Tan (Malaysia) has been untroubled in progressing through the opening two rounds.
In the Women’s Singles while the New Zealand participation ended earlier in the day with the departure of Michelle Chan in the second round, the top 3 seeds are safely through to the round of 16.
Top seed Hsiao Ma Pai (Chinese Taipei), 2nd seed Chi Ya Cheng (Chinese Taipei) and 3rd seed Millicent Wiranto (Indonesia) all progressed in straight games in round 2 matches today.
In the Women’s Doubles Kiwi 3rd seeds Anna Rankin and Madeleine Stapleton were upset in the second round, losing to Szu Yu Chen and Chi Ya Cheng (Chinese Taipei) in straight games. Kritteka Gregory and Susannah Leydon-Davis have negotiated their way through to the quarter-finals though, where they will come up against that same pairing from Chinese Taipei.
In the Men’s Doubles it was another procession of seeds, including the aforementioned 7th seeded New Zealanders Dennerly-Minturn and Leydon-Davis, they will play a Japanese pairing for a place in the semi-finals tomorrow.
Oliver Leydon-Davis will pair up with sister Susannah in the Mixed Doubles quarter-finals tomorrow, facing off against former world number 1 doubles player Kien Keat Koo (Malaysia) and partner Hui Lin Ng (Malaysia) at 11am at the North Shore Events Centre.
Michael Fowke is also still in the Mixed Doubles, with partner Emilie Furbo (Denmark). Also through are Kiwi pairings Vicki Copeland and Luke Charlesworth, and Maika Phillips and Anona Pak.
Play begins tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am with a completion of all round of 16 matches in all events. The evening session commences at 5.30 with the quarter final matches in all events in what shapes as a great night of badminton.