Big two win through for match of the day

The much anticipated match up between top seed and defending champion Sairul Amar Ayob of Malaysia and former top-ten player Ronald Susilo of Singapore, will be the highlight of the third round of the New Zealand Badminton Open today (Thursday).

Both players cruised through their second round games in under half an hour. Susilo who is on his way back from an achilles injury beating Ching Hung Cheng of Chinese Taipei 21-16 21-10 looking relaxed as he hit numerous winners throughout the match.

Top seed Ayob, 26 had a comfortable victory over New Zealand's Henry Tam, he did, however, give credit to his opponent. "I have to be aware of up and coming players," but defeated Tam easily in 16 minutes. His preparation for the tournament has he says been average with a loss in the quarter-finals of the Macau Open recently.

His victory in the second round in Auckland sets up an exciting match against Susilo but Ayob is giving nothing away about his tactics for the clash, "Yeah, definitely it will be good...

New Zealand No 1 and tournament fifth seed John Moody beat fellow Kiwi James Moffat, to play Australian hopeful Jeff Tho in the third round. Tho, Australia's best teenager overcame local teenager Alan Chan in a three game epic.

Also winning through to the third round were second seed Andrew Smith of England, third seed Shoji Sato of Japan and Canadian Bobby Milroy the fourth seed respectively.

In the women's singles North Harbour school pupil Melissa Leviana continues her good form in the tournament beating Clare Chapple in two sets. Leviana will face eighth seed Trupti Murgunde of India in the third round.

Another New Zealand competitor through to the women's third round is Auckland based teenager Vina, who is originally from Indonesia. She fought out a tough match against Shinta Mulia Sari (Singapore) and is gearing up to play former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Li Li.

Top seed in the women's singles Rachel Hindley had to fight hard to win her first match beating Juan Gu of Singapore 21-17 24-22 and now plays Japan's Yoshimi Hataya. Also winning through was second seeded Malaysian Sutheaswari Mudukasan.

The retired Geoff Bellingham won his singles match over a Spanish opponent while his wife, Rebecca and sister in-law Nicole Gordon, also both retired from international play won their doubles match against a Singapore pair in straight games, although they play the third seeds from Malaysia in the next round.

Geoff then combined with Rebecca to defeat the Aussie team of Tania Luiz and Ross Smith in straight games. They now play Kiwis Donna Cranston and Craig Cooper in what could be a very interesting clash.

Not bad progress for retirees?

Powerful men's doubles combination Dan Shirley and Craig Cooper put on a big hitting display to win their first match against a Taipei pair.

Shirley then played his first mixed match of the tournament teaming with Renee Flavell against Choon Eng Chew and Hooi Yee Chor of Malaysia in a tight contest in front of an enthusiastic crowd late last night. The Malaysian pair won in a tight three game match with final scores of 14-21 21-18 21-17.


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