The finals of the U$50,000 New Zealand Badminton Open world grand prix tournament proved to be a real mix of seedings taking away the titles.
Women’s second seeds Anneke Agustine and Anisa Wahyuni, of Indonesia, beat their No 1 seed opponents, Tsz Ka Chan and Ying Suet Tse from Hong Kong in straight games to take one title for Indonesia.
Top-15 ranked Yan Kit Chan from Hong Kong won the battle against his countryman, Wing Ki Wong with relative ease in the men’s singles final. Chan, who cruised through the tournament, was far too slick for Wong winning 21-9 21-9 in just 28 minutes and proving he will be a player to watch.
In the women’s singles it was third seeded Sayaka Sato from Japan who beat fourth-seed Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia. The score was 21-10 21-16.
The most exciting final had top-20 ranked India duo and tournament top seeds Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas taking on fourth seeds Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata of Japan.
The top seeds won the first game 21-16, but some acrobatic displays by the Japanese saw them win the second 21-15. Kumar and Thomas won the final game and the match 21-17 to take the title.
In the mixed final it was the seventh seeds Fran Kurniawan Teng and Pia Zebadiah Bernadet from Indonesia who upset the world No 10 combination of Yohan Wiratam and Hoi Wah Chau of Hong Kong in straight games 21-13 21-9.
The best performances by New Zealanders was Wellington duo Jian Dee Chew and Chris Lee making the quarters in the men’s doubles and Aucklander Michelle Chan and North Harbour’s Rachel Hindley reaching the quarters in the women’s doubles.
After the success of the 2009 New Zealand Open there are plans to look at increasing its status by taking the prize money to US$120,000.