Hsu Emerges as Threat at SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open
A potential dark horse has emerged in the men’s singles at the SKYCITY New Zealand Badminton Open at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland.
While all eyes are on top seed Tzu Wei Wang (Chinese Taipei), who marched confidently into the quarterfinals with a 21-15, 21-10 victory over Malaysian Wei Feng Chong, his compatriot Jen Hao Hsu has moved stealthily into the last eight. The 6th seed combined great patience during some long rallies against China’s Zhou Zeqi, to earn a convincing 21-13, 21-7 win.
Jen Hao says the conditions helped his cause.
“Because today was colder, the speed was slower, which suits my game,” he said.
“My opponent was also young and may have been nervous I think, because I lost to him last time – so it’s good to win.”
Jen Hao is hoping for 6th time lucky, having played in every New Zealand Open since 2011.
“I like New Zealand. I feel comfortable here and enjoy the environment and climate.”
Meanwhile, the Ratchanok Intanon show marches on in the women’s singles. The world number nine made short work of her second round match against Australian qualifier Yingzi Jiang, cruising into the quarters with a 21-2, 21-8 demolition. The Thai star will face Dinar Dyah Ayustine in the last eight, after the 6th seeded Indonesian triumphed 21-13, 21-11 against Kiwi qualifier Christine Zhang. Indonesian second seed Fitriani also looked impressive in dispatching Canada’s Brittney Tam 21-7, 21-8, while fourth seeded compatriot Hanna Ramadini accounted for China’s Zhiyi Wang 21-18, 21-10.
The highlight of the day was a sensational battle in the mixed doubles, which put paid to Malaysian Peng Soon Chan’s hopes of defending his title. Chan and his new playing partner Yee See Cheah bowed out in thrilling showdown against Indonesia’s Riky Widianto and Richi Puspita Dili, eventually losing 12-21, 21-15, 21-19.
New Zealand’s representation also came to an end in the men’s doubles, with teenagers Dacmen Vong and Oscar Guo beaten in straight games by an Indonesian pair, while Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Samuel Ho suffered a similar fate against a combination from Malaysia.
Fellow Kiwis Danielle Tahuri and Yongshi Xie also saw their hopes end in the women’s doubles, as did compatriots Ella Smith and Jahvaya Wheki, and when Alyssa Tagle and Jacqueline Yu followed suit, New Zealand’s last chance to make a quarterfinal was over.
Day four features the quarterfinals of the men’s and women’s singles, the men’s and women’s doubles and the mixed doubles.
Play gets underway at 3pm.