BADMINTON Preview: Japan has three top seeds in New Zealand Open

After three straight major tournaments in Asia, the BWF World Tour heads south to Oceania for the New Zealand Open this week and the Australia Open in June.

Founded in 1990, the tournament was upgraded to world-class status in 2016 and has been part of the World Tour since. The top seeds:

Men’s Singles:
1. Anthony Ginting (INA) ~ World rank: 7
2. Tommy Sugiarto (INA) ~ World rank: 14
3. Jonatan Christie (INA) ~ World rank: 9

Men’s Doubles:
1. Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (JPN) ~ World rank: 3
2. Mohamad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (INA) ~ World rank: 4
3. Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe (JPN) ~ World rank: 9

Women’s Singles:
1. Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) ~ World rank: 4
2. Saina Nehwal (IND) ~ World rank: 9
3. Beiwen Zhang (USA) ~ World rank: 11

Women’s Doubles:
1. Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPN) ~ World rank: 1
2. Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Yakahashi (JPN) ~ World rank: 3
3. Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (JPN) ~ World rank: 2

Mixed Doubles:
1. Weijie Dong/Xiaofei Chen (CHN)
2. Peng Soon Chen/Liu Ying Goh (MAS) ~ World rank: 5
3. Soon Huat Goh/Shevon Jamie Lai (MAS) ~ World rank: 13

It’s a good field, and a rare high seed for American Zhang in women’s Singles. She has won one World Tour medal in 2019, a bronze at the Swiss Open last month, and is near her top ranking ever of 10th last year.

Prize money is $11,250-5,700-$2,175 for the top three places in Singles (on down through 32nd) and $11,850-5,700-2,100 for Doubles, on down to 32nd. Look for results here.