Auckland: The New Zealand Badminton Open tournament had several upsets and thrilling games that made for a nail-biting last day of action.
The first upset was created by Taiwan’s sixth seed, Wang Tzu Wei who defeated his top-seeded compatriot Hsu Jen Hao to take the men’s singles title 21-9 21-13.
This is Wang’s first Grand Prix title. It was a fast-paced match where the 19-year-old Wang was able to catch the Hsu off guard with his unrelenting attacks and precision shots.
“This is my first championship, I’m very excited about it,” he said.
“I have been training very hard. Today was really about everything coming together for me.”
In an all-Japanese women’s singles final, Nozomi Okuhara won a one-sided contest against fellow unseeded player Kana Ito 21-15 21-3.
This was also Okuhara’s first title after recovering from a knee injury and she was surprised that Ito was struggling to find her rhythm.
The night ended on a high with a stunning men’s doubles final with the underdog Indonesians Selvanus Geh/Kevin Sukamuljo upsetting the number 2 seeded Chinese Taipei pairing Chen Hung Ling/Lu Chia Pin in a fierce 3 game battle. Selvanus Geh and Kevin Sukamuljo from Indonesia rebounded after dropping the first game to the favorites and sank to their knees in delight at the end of the match, winning 15-21, 23-21, and 21-11.
“Considering we have only been together for a month it was an outstanding result for us,” said Sukamuljo. “We have been training together for just over a year now but this is only our second month playing tournaments as a partnership. It got a little bit shaky for a while but we believed in ourselves and we are very happy to win this title.
“We were feeling very tired but we had to forget about that and put everything into our shots and be more confident.
“This is my second Grand Prix title but my first with Selvanus, we are very happy and have enjoyed our week here in New Zealand.” added Sukamuljo.
In the women’s doubles final, Renuga Veeran/Rosie Tang of Australia defeated Mami Naito/Shizuka Matsuo of Japan 21-13, 10-21, 21-18.
Alfian Prasetya and Annisa Saufika from Indonesia emerged victorious in three close games over Edi Subaktiar and Melati Oktaviani who also from Indonesia, 21-18, 17-21, 21-12 in a match that had everything – long rallies, great net play and plenty of power.