Pictured: An Se Young (Korea). Photo Credit: Choey.
Oceania representatives faced stiff competition on day two of the SATHIO GROUP Australian Badminton Open as the main draw commenced for the men’s and women’s singles and doubles.
New Zealand’s Ricky Cheng was able to hold his own against the world number 35 from China, showing glimmers of hope in the second game as his positive attacking play aided his campaign. Yet it was ultimately a similar story across the board for Ricky and Australia’s Pit Seng Low and Louisa Ma – whose more experienced opponents controlled the game from the outset.
- Weng Hong Yang (CHN) vs Ricky Cheng (NZL) 21-11 21-16
- Loh Kean Yew (SGP) vs Pit Seng Low (AUS) 21-10 21-9
- Nozomi Okuhara (JPN) vs Louisa Ma (AUS) 21-6 21-13
The first upset of the tournament came in the women’s singles as the eighth seed from Singapore (Yeo Jia Min) was outshined by Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei. Ranked only 14 places lower (at 34 to Yeo’s 20), Pai dominated the rallies with pinpoint precision, much to the dislike of Yeo and easing past her in two comfortable games.
- Pai Yu Po (TPE) vs Yeo Jia Min (SGP) 21-6 21-12
Last month, Oceania held three Grade Three tournaments across Australia and New Zealand where Sung Shuo Yun made a name for herself after winning four gold medals. This also came in the week’s after she blindsided Carolina Marin and Beiwen Zhang at the Canada Open 2022. This afternoon, she was pitted against the tournament favourite and top seed, An Se Young (Korea) and at one game down, Sung Shuo Yun seemed to be making an impressive comeback with a 10-4 lead in the second.
However, An Se Young conjured an inspirational attack (complimented by her phenomenal footwork) to make a stunning comeback at 10-10. As Sung’s grip loosened, An’s reign grew stronger, cementing her position with a 21-13 win.
- An Se Young (KOR) vs Sung Shuo Yun (TPE) 21-14 21-13
Tiffany Ho and Wendy Chen became Australia’s last remaining hopes in the women’s singles as they both eased past their fellow compatriots. The victories aid their Oceania Tour 2022 campaign (which Wendy is leading) which culminates at the end of this week’s tournament.
- Tiffany Ho (AUS) vs Isabella Yan (AUS) 21-13 21-11
- Wendy Chen (AUS) vs Yuran Zhang (AUS) 21-4 21-13
Japan is well known for their strength and depth in the women’s doubles field. This week, they claim the top three seeded positions and it came as no surprise to see them fly into the second round. New Zealand’s rekindled duo, Anona Pak and Erena Calder-Hawkins were one of the pairs among their paths of destruction.
- Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (JPN) vs Erena Calder-Hawkins/Anona Pak (NZL) 21-8 21-6
- Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPN) vs Hu Ling Fang/Lin Xiao Min (TPE) 21-14 21-17
One of Australia’s top hopes in the women’s doubles came crashing down in today’s first round. The Commonwealth Game fourth place finishers, Wendy Chen and Gronya Somerville could not capitalise on their 1-0 lead against the Aimsaard sisters who picked up the pace throughout the second and deciding games.
- Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard (THA) vs Wendy Chen/Gronya Somerville (AUS) 18-21 21-16 21-12
Elsewhere in the men’s singles, Australia’s Rio Agustino dealt with an early exit in the main draw after surviving yesterday’s qualification rounds at the hands of top seed and world number two, Lee Zii Jia. Meanwhile, despite being unseeded, it might not have come as the biggest surprise to see Shi Yu Qi oust the eighth seed in the opening round.
- Lee Zii Jia (MAS) vs Rio Agustino (AUS) 21-9 21-11
- Shi Yu Qi (CHN) vs Kanta Tsuneyama (JPN) 21-11 21-18
The pressure is now on for Lee Zii Jia, who must reach the semifinals of the SATHIO GROUP Australian Open 2022 to qualify for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok next month. Standing in his way in tomorrow’s round of 16 will be China’s Lu Guangzu.
Day three will begin at 1pm (AEDT) as all five disciplines compete in the last 16. Follow all results and draws on Tournament Software.
All matches will be available to watch on the live stream via the BWF TV YouTube Channel.