The quarterfinals of the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2022 took place at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre this morning. The biggest upsets came in the men’s singles as two of the top seeds were knocked out, including the reigning champion Abhinav Manota.
Australia’s 32-year-old Nathan Tang showed absolutely no signs of slowing down, ousting top seeded Manota after the pair endured three gruelling games, demonstrating expertise and precision in a match which fell just four minutes shy of the hour.
- Nathan Tang (AUS) vs Abhinav Manota (NZL) 21-16 21-23 21-16
“I feel ecstatic. I’m one of the oldest players so to make the semifinals of the Oceania’s again. I got my revenge because I was in better form today. The mindset in 2020 was to make the semis, I made it, but then I let my foot off the gas. This time, I’m going to be more selfish and not think too much about my teammates this afternoon. I live locally so I will head home, rest, get my favourite food and think about the gameplan”, says Nathan
Manota was able to redeem his loss in the men’s doubles. The reigning champion from 2020 (winning with Oliver Leydon-Davis) has partnered with Jack Wang in this year’s Continental Championships, seeing off their fellow compatriots in another three game thriller.
- Abhinav Manota/Jack Wang (NZL) vs Adam Jeffrey/Dylan Soedjasa (NZL) 21-19 20-22 21-14
“We train with them a lot so it’s quite competitive between us. Our main gameplan was to focus on ourselves and play our game and not letting them play theirs. It worked well in the first and third but they caught on in the second so we had to adapt. They played really well, but thankfully we could get it back in the third and control it from there. I’m learning a lot from Mani who has lots of experience and I’m enjoying playing with him ”, says Jack
The New Zealand first seeds (Oliver and Anona) opened proceedings with a comfortable win as the mixed doubles draw narrowed down to the semifinalists. Their victory was soon followed by the reigning champion, Gronya Somerville, who is competing with her new partner Kenneth Choo. The duo admit that they are still finding their groove together on court, but are happy with the quick progress that they have been able to make as they saw off the challenge from Ashwant and Kaitlyn.
- Oliver Leydon-Davis/Anona Pak (NZL) vs Jack Wang/Justine Villegas (NZL) 21-16 21-12
- Kenneth Zhe Hooi Choo/Gronya Somerville (AUS) vs Ashwant Gobinathan/Kaitlyn Ea (AUS) 21-15 21-17
“We’re looking forward to getting more range and more exposure. This partnership is still new but it’s getting better and better. She has a solid base, defence and attack, I just need to figure out her habits so I can cover and set her up. Every game is a learning process, we try new things, new combinations and to work out what is the best way forwards for us”, says Kenneth
“So far it’s been good. It’s been nice to play international players and with new partners, we’re just trying to learn from each match and prepare better for the next one so we can hopefully make it all the way to the finals and win. We’ve been training a lot to build Kenneth’s confidence in the mixed doubles as he is very good at rushing forward and attacking. Otherwise, with Kaitlyn, I’m trying to encourage her to speak up and gain confidence.”, says Gronya
In the women’s singles, Tiffany Ho will be celebrating a fourth semifinal appearance as she defeated Sydney Go in two close games. Her victory sets up a repeat of the 2020 semifinal against the second seed, Louisa Ma. Tiffany will be looking to seek revenge after Louisa narrowly took the win two years ago.
- Tiffany Ho (AUS) vs Sydney Go (AUS)
- Louisa Ma (AUS) vs Kai Qi (Bernice) Teoh (AUS) 21-10 21-11
“It probably wasn’t my best performance, but I have to learn from it and stay positive to help me get through the next one. I think sometimes when I lost some points and drifted away from my gameplan. The main focus for me is to really focus on the gameplan with my coach, so I need to make sure I do it again as I’m sure it will make a big difference in this tournament ”, says Tiffany
The first seeds of the women’s doubles eased through to the semifinals, initiating a gameplan which wouldn’t allow their opponents to reach double figures. Meanwhile, on the other end of the draw, reigning champion Gronya Somerville and her new partner (Kaitlyn Ea) saw past their Australian counterparts to lock in their first semifinal as a pair.
- Joyce Choong/Sylvina Kurniawan (AUS) vs Angelina Ung/Camellia Zhou (NZL) 21-6 21-5
- Kaitlyn Ea/Gronya Somerville (AUS) vs Tiffany Ho/Lee Yen Khoo (AUS) 21-7 21-15
The semifinals will commence at 5pm (AEST) in Melbourne, opening with Jordan Yang, Maureen Wijaya, Kenneth Choo and Gronya Somerville on court one, and Tiffany Ho and Louisa Ma on court two.
All semifinals matches will be available to watch on the live stream, which is free to watch for all, via the Badminton Oceania YouTube channel. Click here to watch.
Check out the schedule and follow the draw on Tournament Software.
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