Badminton: Top seeds made to fight

The top seeds at the New Zealand Badminton Open found things a bit tougher on day three as they tried to win through to the quarter-finals at the US$50,000 tournament at the North Shore Events Centre.

Former world No 3 Simon Santoso of Indonesia was taken to three games by Thailand's Parinyawat Thongnua, before eventually winning 20-22 21-17 21-17 in one hour and seven minutes.

Third seed Ajay Jayaram of India took two minutes longer in his win over 12th seed Korea's Ji Hoon Hong, while Australian Open runner up Xue Song of China also took more than an hour to defeat seventh seed Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo of Indonesia.

Women's top seed Hsiao Ma Pai (Taipei) was able to dispatch North Harbour's Vicki Copeland in straight games in what was always going to be an uphill battle for the Kiwi. Copeland fought strongly in the first game but struggled to match the more experienced Pai, who controlled the game for a 21-11 21-5 victory.

Copeland also lost her mixed second round match, teaming with Luke Charlesworth to go down to a Malaysian pair in straight games.

Women's second seed and world No 39 Kaori Imabeppu from Japan fell in her second round singles to Korea's Hae Won Kang in three games.

Top mixed seeds Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili of Indonesia were challenged initially by the unseeded Chinese pair of Liu Yuchen and Dongping Huang but eventually won through to the quarter-finals, as did the men's top seeds and Australian Open winners Ryan Saputra and Angga Pratama

- APNZ

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