The Kiwi men didn’t have a great start at the New Zealand Badminton Open yesterday with the depth of the tournament meaning a number of local players fell in early first-round matches.
Showing plenty of potential but a lack of patience, Bjorn Seguin (Waikato) lost to India’s Aditya Elango in three games after winning the first set 21-19 at the North Shore Events Centre.
Praveen Tayalan from Counties Manukau may have made the final of the Australian under-19 tournament at the weekend, but had a straightforward loss to the more experienced Simon Maunoury of France while Australia’s James Paybody defeated Kiwi Reon McFarlane and comrade Leck S Tham also went down in the first round.
Winning through the women’s singles qualifying was Michelle HK Chan (Counties Manukau) who defeated fellow Kiwis Poh Lin Teo and Sheen Kwan in successive matches and duly earned herself a place in the main draw against the second seed and world No 29 Megumi Taruno (Japan).
Also claiming a place in the main draw was Indonesia’s Linda Fanteri who beat locals Melissa Yin and Maggie Chan in straight games. Fanteri faces Auckland’s Clare Chapple in the first round of the main draw.
Today’s play features full rounds of all five draws including last year’s women’s finalist Rachel Hindley against Maria Febe Kusumastuti – the tournament fourth seed and winner of last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The men’s doubles will also feature with the No 1 seeds from India ranked inside the top-20.
There are also strong combinations from Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia as well as several Kiwi and Australian teams hoping to make an impact. One of these is Dan Shirley and John Gordon who, despite having fulltime jobs, will be more than a handful for their rivals.
The tournament continues until Saturday.