Tough draw for Singapore shuttlers at Singapore Badminton Open

Singapore's Jin Yujia and Bimo Adi Prakoso in action against the Japan's Misaki Matsutomo and Yugoslav Kobayashi (not pictures) during the OUE Singapore Open at the Indoor Stadium on April 11, 2017.
Singapore's Jin Yujia and Bimo Adi Prakoso in action against the Japan's Misaki Matsutomo and Yugoslav Kobayashi (not pictures) during the OUE Singapore Open at the Indoor Stadium on April 11, 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Republic's shuttlers have been handed tough draws for the July 17-22 Singapore Badminton Open at the Indoor Stadium, according to a release by the organisers on Thursday (June 28).

Of the hosts' 14-strong squad, only the pairs of Citra Putri Sari Dewi and Jin Yujia (women's doubles), Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Crystal Wong, and Terry Hee and Citra (both mixed doubles) made the main draw of the US$355,000 (S$472,400) Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 500 tournament, with the rest having to negotiate the qualifiers of the respective events.

Citra and Jin will face France's Delphine Delrue and Lea Palermo in the first round, and potentially face China's Tang Jinhua and Yu Xiaohan, who won the US Open in May, in the last 16.

In the opening round of the mixed doubles, Hee and Citra will face Malaysian second seeds Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Lai, while Chrisnanta and Wong will face England's Gregory Mairs and Jenny Moore. The latter Singapore tandem may face Indonesian Olympic champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir if they make it to the second round.

The rest of the Singapore team will have to play in the qualifying rounds to make the main draw.

Men's singles specialist Ryan Ng will face India's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, and then possibly Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro for a spot in the main draw, while women's singles player Grace Chua will play India's Rituparna Das for a chance to play Switzerland's Sabrina Jaquet in the first round of the main draw.

Thai top seed Ratchanok Intanon will be Chua's likely opponent if she makes it to the last 16.

Chua said: "I'm glad to be able to play at the Singapore Badminton Open and will put in my best effort to win my qualifying match and advance to the main draw.

"Hopefully, I will have a chance to play against Ratchanok if I make it to the round of 16, which will be a great experience as she is one of the top women's singles players that I look up to."

In the men's doubles qualifiers, Lee Jian Liang and Jason Wong will face Hong Kong's Ho Wai Lun and Hee Chun Mak, while Rizky Hidayat and Loh Kean Hean will do battle with Malaysia's Mohamad Arif Ab Latif Arif and Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub Azriyn. Chrisnanta and Hee will face Italy's Fabio Caponio and Giovanni Toti at the same stage as well.

Also, Lim Ming Hui and former Singapore Open champion Yao Lei will place Indonesia's Cynthia Shara Ayunidha and Narulia R Ersa in the women's doubles qualifiers.

Tickets for the Singapore Badminton Open 2018 are available via Sports Hub Tix and APAC Tix.