Pictured: Abhinav Manota, New Zealand. Photo credit: Luis Veniegra Photography
A handful of qualification matches in the Men’s and Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles opened the Sydney International 2019 as players battled for a place in the Main Draw and a shot at earning some vital World Ranking points.
Japan’s Ebihara continued her impressive run this morning. The 21-year-old made it all the way from qualification to the Quarter-Finals in last week’s South Australia Open. This week, she has to progress through qualification again, earning her spot in the main draw with ease.
Australia’s Majan Almazan, who was in top form in the Australian Junior International earlier this month, also celebrated victory in the qualification matches, earning a spot in the main draw for Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles.
- Shiori Ebihara (JPN) vs Anu Maya Rai (NEP) 21-4 21-3
- Majan Almazan (AUS) vs Kelly Xu (AUS) 21-14 21-19
- Ryan Venpin/Majan Almazan (AUS) vs Bosco Lap-Chi Kwok/Elena Yee-Man Kwok (AUS) 21-18 21-18
One of the most heated contests in this morning’s qualification matches came between Korea and China who duelled in an extremely fast and flat exchange, with the Korean’s eventually coming out on top in two close games.
- Hyung Seok Kang/Kim Donghun (KOR) vs Shen Cheng Cheng/Xu Yi Ming (CHN) 21-18 21-17
Being the last event to contribute towards the Oceania Tour, a first-round exit means that Keith Edison’s lost his grip on the prize money, leaving other contenders such as Abhinav Manota and Pit Seng Low to battle it out for the money.
New Zealand’s Manota surged up the Oceania Tour rankings last week following his run in Perth (exiting in the third round). Today, the kiwi shuttler has bettered his ranking as he progressed through to the second round after his opponent retired in the second game.
Currently in first place on the Oceania Tour Men’s Singles leader board, Australia’s Pit Seng Low, received a walkover after his opponent from Nepal withdrew following visa and transport issues. Seng Low will be looking to shake Manota off his tail with a win against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chi Ting in the second round, where it is speculated that the World Ranking points accrued will close his gap on the Oceania Tour prize money.
- Abhinav Manota (NZL) vs Hua Chun Liang (TPE) 21-11 Retired
Elsewhere, the Men’s Singles draw was blown wide open following the withdrawal of Lee Hyun Il, who was nursing an ongoing injury which he received in the final of the South Australia International over the weekend, along with a handful of other seeds who fell at the first hurdle.
- Ros Leonard Pedrosa (PHI) vs Zvonimir Durkinjak (CRO)  21-11 16-21 21-13
- Chen Chi Ting (TPE) vs Artem Pochtarov (UKR) 21-10 21-9
Australia’s reigning national champion, Jacob Schueler, demonstrated his impressive fitness as he engaged in an epic 64 minute over three long games, including an impressive comeback from 16-13 down in the final game.
- Jacob Schueler (AUS) vs Dipesh Dhami (NEP) 25-23 16-21 21-19
Meanwhile, Keith Edison was having a similar battle against Malaysia’s Eveshgaran Vasigaran on a nearby court. Having taken the first game comfortable, the Australian shuttler struggled to maintain the momentum as Vasigaran took charge of the game.
- Eveshgaran Vasigaran (MAS) vs Keith Edison (AUS) 13-21 21-14 21-17
Check out all results from day one at the Sydney International 2019 on Tournament Software.
The first round of the Women’s Singles, Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles begins tomorrow at 10am, local time (GMT + 10).
Courts one and two will be available to watch for free on the live stream, powered by OVO.