Many well-known and world class players will take part in the event to create interest among the spectators. The prominent players will include the former world number 1 Le Hyun Il (Korea) in the men’s singles and former world number 1 doubles player Koo Kien Keat (Malaysia) teaming up with compatriot Vilailak Pakkawat as 5th seeds in the men’s doubles.
New Zealanders get a rare chance to play a Grand Prix status tournament at home and in the process chase vital ranking points as they look to earn nomination to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games later this year. The Kiwis have performed nicely in the first round draw across all events, with Joe Wu (8th seed) drawing Chun-Bong Wong (Australia) in his first game and the prospect of another Aussie or an all-New Zealand second round clash with 17 year old North Harbour rising prospect Nicco Tagle up against Joe Wheeler (Australia) in the first round. 15th seed Michael Fowke (NZ) has a Malaysian opponent in the first round and the prospect of a third round clash with top seed Hsu Yen Hao (Chinese Taipei) should he safely negotiate his first two games.
In the women’s singles, 4th seeded Kiwi Michelle Chan has drawn a Chinese Taipei player in the first round. Young North Harbour prospect Gaea Galvez will face the challenging task of the number 2 seed Cheng Chi Ya (Chinese Taipei.
In the men’s doubles 7th seeded Kiwi Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Oliver Leydon-Davis take on Aussies Michael Fariman and Mitchell Wheller in the first round. While the former world number 1 Kien Keat Koo (Malaysia – 5th seed with Pakkawat Vilaila from Thailand), they face a match up with the top seeds (Chinese Taipei) in the quarter-finals in case of getting advance to that stage.
In the mixed doubles, New Zealand provides the top seeds in Oliver Leydon-Davis and Susannah Leydon-Davis, the Waikato brother/sister combination face an Aussie pairing in the first round and are seeded to play another Aussie pair in Ross Smith and Renuga Veeran in the final, if they will reach that level.
In women’s doubles Anna Rankin and Madeleine Stapleton at number 3 seeds are the highest ranked Kiwi pair to progress straight to the second round.
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