Aviva Open Singapore 2004

Discussion in 'Singapore Open 2004' started by Loh, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The much awaited Singapore Open 2004, which follows soon after the China Open, will begin on 15 Nov with the Finals scheduled on Sun, 21 Nov. (Kwun and Janet should be in Singapore enjoying the Semis and the Finals with a group of 'flag-waving' Singapore BFers.)

    It is expected that many of the top players participating in the China Open will make their way down to Singapore and they will still be in time for some last-minute training as the main event will not start until Wed, 17 Nov, the earlier two days being set aside for the qualifers.

    I hope that as many of you will be able to catch at least the Finals on TV live. I'm sure many of our Singapore BFers will make an attempt to keep you informed of the proceedings and the results in this forum. :)

    To keep the ball rolling, below is an analysis of what fierce competiton to expect at the Singapore Open this year:


    Ex Chinese players could end China dominance at Aviva Open Singapore


    Can the dominant Chinese be overcome?

    SINGAPORE, 1 Nov 2004

    The biggest threat to China’s monopoly of the women’s singles event in the Aviva Open Singapore 2004 could ironically come from players who formerly called China their home.

    The last four Singapore Open (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003) women singles’ finals were an all-Chinese affair and the great Susi Susanti was the last non-Chinese player to qualify for the final way back in 1998. Current world number one Mia Audina of Holland is the last non-Chinese player to win the Singapore Open back in 1997. This year, the pre-tournament favourites are again from China in the form of reigning world and Olympic champion Zhang Ning, current All England champion Gong Ruina and 2002 Singapore Open champion Zhou Mi.

    However, four players in the current world top ten rankings – namely Pi Hongyan (France), Wang Chen (Hong Kong), Yao Jie (Holland) and Xu Huaiwen (Germany) – will be hoping to break China’s stranglehold of the women’s singles crown.

    Of the four, Pi, 25, could be one of the best hopes to upset the Chinese. Winner of this year’s French and Dutch Opens, the former Chinese national player is one of those who have beaten defending Singapore Open champion Zhang Ning before. Last year, Pi also managed to beat Zhou Mi in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open. Pi has lost in her last two meetings against Gong Ruina, but the French number one will be eager to avenge last year’s Singapore Open quarterfinal loss to the Chinese current world number three.

    Hong Kong’s Wang Chen, who topped the world rankings for 14 weeks last year, will be thirsting to avenge recent defeats to former teammates Gong Ruina and Zhang Ning. At the recent Athens Olympics, Wang met eventual champion Zhang Ning in the quarterfinals, but fell in three games 11-9, 6-11, 7-11. Wang was stopped by Gong in both the quarterfinals of this year’s Japan and Korea Opens and the 28-year-old will be eager to beat her former compatriot.

    World number nine Yao Jie, 27, was runner-up at last month’s Dutch and Denmark Opens and she will be hoping to repeat her success at last year’s Dutch Open where she beat Dai Yun to win the title. Yao was a winner at this year’s Thai Open and will need to be at her best if she meets the all-conquering Chinese trio of Zhang, Gong and Zhou.

    Xu Huaiwen, 29, a former China national player will be hoping to build on her recent performance at the German Open where she finished second. The veteran has seen a steady improvement in her world rankings since she started playing for Germany and last month, she reached a career high world number nine.

    With the retirement of former world champion Camilla Martin of Denmark and current world number one Mia Audina of Holland skipping this year’s Singapore Open, other European hopefuls include world number 14 Tracey Hallam of England, world number 16 Kelly Morgan of Wales and world number 17 Tine Rasmussen of Denmark.

    Hallam, who was runner-up to Singapore’s Li Li at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, was a winner at this year’s Portuguese International. The English ace knocked out former world champion Martin at the recent Olympics and will be hoping to add another big name upset to her resume. Rising European star Rasmussen, who is at a career high world number 17, won four tournaments in three months (Norwegian International, Toulouse Open, Irish International and Swedish International) between November last year and this January, but a scalp of the top Chinese players will certainly top those achievements. Welsh number one Morgan meantime is one of the hardest working players on the European circuit and will be hoping to cause an upset or two.


    Issued by Octagon RTA on behalf of organising committee on 1 Nov 2004.



    Press Releases

    28/10/04 Chen Hong and Zhang Ning eye hat-tricks at Aviva Open 2004

    25/10/04 Olympic Champion Taufik eyes Aviva Open crown

    24/10/04 Malaysian top guns confirmed for Aviva Open Singapore 2004

    28/09/04 Tickets on sale for Aviva Open Singapore

    20/09/04 Aviva embraces Singapore's favourite racket sport
     
    #1 Loh, Nov 3, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2004
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Chen Hong & Zhang Ning For Hat-tricks

    Chen Hong and Zhang Ning eye hat-tricks at Aviva Open 2004


    SINGAPORE, 27 OCTOBER 2004

    Defending champion Chen Hong could go into the record books as being the first player to win three men’s singles crowns at next month’s Aviva Open Singapore 2004 (Nov 16 –21) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

    In the past 14 editions of the Singapore Open, no player has ever completed a hat-trick of titles. Former Chinese great Zhao Jianhua won the Singapore Open (known as the Konica Cup Asian Badminton Invitation Championships then) in 1989 and then repeated his win in 1992. Arbi Heryanto also won the Singapore Open twice in 1997 and 1999.

    Last year, Chen Hong became the third person to claim two Singapore Open titles when he beat unseeded compatriot Chen Yu in an exciting three-game final. In 2002, Chen Hong ousted hometown favourite Ronald Susilo in another exciting final. Chen Hong chances of competing a hat-trick this year has been further boosted as compatriots world number one Lin Dan and reigning world champion Xia Xuanze are both not competing in Singapore.

    China has entered a star-studded 13 men 12 women squad for the Aviva Open 2004 and besides Chen Hong, world number five Bao Chun Lai and last year’s surprise finalist Chen Yu are also contenders for the men’s singles crown. Bao, who lost to Singapore’s Susilo in April’s Japan Open, will be eager to claim his first grand prix title for the year, while Chen Yu will be eager to win his first five-star event.

    The mighty Chinese team claimed three out of five titles at last year’s Singapore Open and will be eager to defend its women singles and doubles crowns.

    Reigning world champion Zhang Ning, who added the Olympics women’s singles gold to her resume in August, has already won two grand prix titles this year – Noonnoppi Korea Open and Proton Eon Malaysia Open. The 29-year-old veteran reached the final of the last three Singapore Opens (winner in 2001 and 2003) and could emulate the great Ye Zhaoying in competing a hat-trick of wins. Ye was a winner in Singapore in 1992, 1998 and 1999.

    The last four Singapore Open women’s singles finals have been an all-China affair and China can also count on the likes of current world number three Gong Ruina and world number four Zhou Mi to do well. Gong won the Swiss Open and the All-England this year and will be eager to reach her first Aviva Open final. Zhou, who beat Zhang in the 2002 Singapore Open final, has yet to win any individual titles in 2004 and she will be hungry to return to winning ways.

    No Chinese pair has ever won the mixed doubles event in the last 11 Singapore Open and this year, China will be counting on the likes of Chen Qiqiu and Zhao Tingting and Olympic champions Zhang Jun and Gao Ling. Chen and Zhao are at a career high world number two after their recent Denmark Open win and German Open runner-up finish, but the pair failed to even reach the last eight of last year’s Singapore Open. Olympic champions Zhang and Gao, meantime, will be eager to add the Aviva Open title to their long list of achievements.

    The last time China won the Singapore Open men’s doubles title was way back in 1992 when Chen Kang and Chen Hongyong triumphed in the final. This time round, China’s main hopes will be on current world number 10 Sang Yang and Zheng Bo. Sang and Zheng reached the final of this year’s Noonnoppi Korea Open and will be eager to claim their first five-star grand prix title.

    China won this year’s Thomas and Uber Cup team competitions, collected three golds at the Athens Olympics and will be eager to continue their winning ways at the Aviva Open.
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Olympic Champion Taufik eyes Aviva Open crown

    Olympic Champion Taufik eyes Aviva Open crown

    Taufik looking to add Aviva Open title to his 2004 trophy cabinet

    SINGAPORE, 25 OCTOBER 2004

    Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat is among the first marquee name to be confirmed for next month’s Aviva Open Singapore 2004 (Nov 15 –21) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

    The 24-year-old Indonesian ace, who missed last year’s Open, will start as one of the pre-tournament favourites this year. The temperamental and flamboyant shuttler broke into tears after winning the Olympic men singles gold in Athens back in August. Taufik, the reigning Asian Games champion, also won the Asian Championships in April.

    The current world number eight will have fond memories of the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where he won the 2001 Singapore Open in an epic final against Malaysia ace Wong Choon Hann. Taufik, who trained in Singapore briefly in 2001, is popular among badminton fans and is trained by famed coach Mulyo Handoyo, who used to guide Singapore ace Ronald Susilo.

    “Taufik, like Ronald, both stand a good chance of winning big tournaments like the Aviva Open,†said Mulyo, speaking from the Indonesian training camp in Jakarta earlier today. “Of course, the Athens experience puts Taufik in good stead in the long run and he is in a very strong position for this year’s Singapore Open. I believe Taufik will still be playing even in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but by then, age will be a factor for him.â€

    Chinese star Chen Hong may have won the last two Singapore Opens, but if there is anyone who can break his stranglehold, it will be Taufik. The talented Indonesia ace has a perfect 5-0 head-to-head record against Chen Hong and holds a 1-0 lead against world number one Lin Dan and 3-2 lead against 2003 world champion Xia Xuanze in head-to-head meetings.

    Besides perennial crowd favourite Taufik, badminton powerhouse Indonesia will also be deploying all its top doubles specialists to the US$170,000 Aviva Open Singapore.

    Indonesia failed to win any of the five titles in the last two Singapore Opens, but this year, Olympic bronze medallists Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian, current world number two Luluk Hadiyanto and Yulianto lven, 2003 All England champions Candra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto are all possible contenders for men’s doubles.

    Flandy and Eng Hian won the Singapore Open back in 2002, but were representing England that year. The experienced pair is back playing under the Indonesian flag and this year, they managed to reach the semifinals of the All England, Korea Open, Japan Open and Asian Championships, before winning the bronze in Athens.

    Luluk and Yulianto meantime are the hot Indonesian pairing after climbing to a career high world number two on Thursday. The relatively new pairing won this year’s Thailand and Malaysian Opens and finished runner-ups in the Malaysia and Swiss Opens.

    But Indonesia’s best hopes for the men’s doubles title could lie with veterans Candra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto. The two veterans are re-united once again after competing most of this season with other partners. Sigit has been playing with Tri Kush Aryanto, while Candra has had three different partners in his last three tournaments.

    Candra and Sigit are one of the most interesting men’s doubles pair in badminton history. The pair became world champions in 1997 at the age of 22, but their glory days were thought to be over after Sigit failed a dope test in 1998 and was banned for a year by the International Badminton Federation (IBF).

    Candra then teamed up with Tony Gunawan and went on to win the 1999 All England and the 2000 Sydney Olympics gold. However, Candra and Sigit were again reunited in 2001, won the Japan Open the same year and reached the final of the 2003 World Championships, before splitting up again. Now reunited for a third time, the Indonesia pair will be hoping to win their third Singapore Open titles after wins in 1997 and 1998.

    Besides the Indonesian team, fans can also expect several other Indonesian ‘imports’ at the Aviva Open.

    Tony Gunawan will represent the United States and he will play in the men doubles with Howard Bach. Dicky Palyama will be wearing Holland’s colours in the men singles, while Agus Hariyanto, Yohan Wiratama and Albertus Susanto Njoto is representing Hong Kong.

    India, meantime, has already confirmed three entries - Puella Gophichand and Abhinn Gupta (men singles) and Aparna Popat (women singles).

    Gophichand, who won the All England in 2001, used to be one of the most skilful and exciting players on the world circuit, but he has struggled with injuries in the past two years and will have to struggle through the qualifiers. India’s best hopes would lie with world number 37 and current Indian number one Abhinn Gupta who won the Mauritius International in April this year.
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Malaysian top guns confirmed for Aviva Open Singapore 2004


    Malaysian aces like Wong Choon Hann, rising star Lee Chong Wei and the exciting Hashim brothers will get to play in next month’s Aviva Open Singapore (Nov 15 -21) after the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) lifted its freeze on its national players competing in international tournaments on Friday.

    In fact, Malaysia has confirmed a 40-strong contingent for the five-star US $170,000 tournament at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The BAM frozen all international participation for its national players for two months after Malaysia failed to win a single medal at the Athens Olympics.

    Expected to spearhead Malaysia’s challenge for the men’s singles title at the 2004 Aviva Open are last year’s World Championships runner-up Wong, recent Malaysian Open champion Lee, 2001 SEA Games gold-medallist Roslin Hashim and his younger brother Hafiz, last year’s All-England champion. The last Malaysian to win the Singapore Open was Foo Kok Keong, who upset China great Zhao Jianhua in a memorable final back in 1990. Malaysia’s current number one Wong reached the final in 2001, but lost to Indonesian sensation Taufik Hidayat.

    “It’s good to be back on the circuit and I always look forward to playing in the Singapore Open as it’s one of my favourite stops on Tour,†said Wong from Kuala Lumpur today. “I’ve played in every Singapore Open since 1994 except for once or twice when I was out with injury. As for the contenders this year, I think China’s Lin Dan deservedly top the charts. The Malaysians also stand a chance to win in Singapore as we do have some supporters there. I really look forward to seeing the Singapore fans soon.â€

    Malaysian in-form player Lee Chong Wei meantime is one of the darkhorses for this year’s Aviva Open. In July, the 22-year-old upset Danish great Peter Gade, Chinese superstars Bao Chunlai and Chen Hong on the way to winning the five-star Proton Sega Malaysian Open. Lee was ranked just 105 on the world rankings in August last year, but has risen to the current world number 17 spot. The young shuttler from Georgetown has also been undefeated in Malaysian domestic tournaments since winning the GP finals back in 2002.

    Brothers Roslin and Hafiz meanwhile will want to make up for a disappointing season with a good run at the Aviva Open.

    Veteran Roslin, who topped the world rankings for several weeks back in 2001, has dropped to world number 18, while younger sibling Hafiz has slipped to world number 32. Hafiz, the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold-medalist, won the prestigious All-England last year as an unseeded player, but has yet to win any titles this year.

    Meantime, Malaysia’s hopes for the Aviva Open men doubles title might be affected after changes to their top two pairings. Lee Wan Wah, the current world number one pair with partner Choong Tan Fok, is out due to an operation, and Choong will now partner Chew Choon Eng. Chew’s partner of four years Chan Chong Ming will team up with Koo Kien Keat instead. The last time Malaysia won the doubles title in Singapore was back in 1999 when Lee and Choong upset then All England Champions Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan.While Malaysia’s hopes for this year’s Aviva Open lies in the men singles and doubles, Singapore will be without singles hopefuls Ronald Susilo and Li Li for this year’s edition.

    The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) has decided to allow them to recover from their niggling injuries in order to be ready for key competitions in 2005-6 like the SEA Games, Thomas and Uber Cups.

    “We do not wish to jeopardize their health by rushing them back into competition,†said a SBA spokesperson. “Both players have achieved a lot for Singapore during the last two years and it’s time to let them recover fully to avoid any serious injuries.â€

    Said local hero Susilo: “Although I won’t be ready to play in this year’s tournament, I will still be there to support the Aviva Open and my teammates. I will also be conducting clinics for our badminton hopefuls and to meet our supporters during that period. So do come and join me in supporting Singapore.â€

    Added 2002 Commonwealth Games champion Li Li: “We are grateful that SBA has taken our welfare and long term careers into consideration. We really need to spend time to recover fully and recondition for the hectic schedule ahead in 2005 and 2006, as well as our ultimate objective of Beijing 2008.â€

    Singaporean fans however can still cheer for homegrown heroes like US Open champion Kendrick Lee and women doubles pair Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia who climbed to a career high world number 16, following their semifinal showing at last week’s German Open.
     
  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The Danes Are Coming To Avenge TC Defeat

    SINGAPORE, 3 November 2004

    European powerhouse Denmark will be eager to avenge May’s Thomas Cup final defeat to China with some strong performances at the Aviva Open 2004 Singapore (Nov 15-21).

    In May, Denmark upset defending Thomas Cup champion Indonesia 2-3 to reach their seventh final in the tournament’s 55-year history. In a highly charged final at Senayan Stadium Jakarta, European Champion Peter Gade Christensen lost the crucial first singles to world number one Lin Dan. But the Danes got back on level terms after first doubles pair Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen beat Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng. Denmark’s bid for a historic first Thomas Cup, however, ended, when Kenneth Jonassen fell to Bao Chunlai and second doubles pair Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard Hansen lost to lower ranked Sang Yang and Zheng Bo.

    If there are players hungry to stop China’s Chen Hong from winning his third consecutive Singapore Open title, they would come from the Danish team.

    “We are sending our strongest players to the Aviva Open,†said Danish coach Steen Pedersen. “We have been strong in men’s doubles and mixed doubles this year and we have a few promising new pairings. It’s been awhile since the Olympics and the players are looking forward to playing Asian opponents again. While Taufik Hidayat did well at the Olympics, he is not the best technical player and may not win the Aviva Open. Peter Gade has been in good form, but he hasn’t been training as hard as he became a father recently. But, I think he will still do well in the men singles in Singapore.â€

    For this year’s Aviva Open, Denmark has three current world top ten men singles players – Peter Gade Christensen, Kenneth Jonassen and Anders Boesen - capable of challenging the Chinese.

    Badminton pin-up Christensen, nicknamed “Flyerâ€, was the dominant player on the world circuit between 1997 and 2001, before a knee injury threatened to end his career. The great Dane returned to the world circuit in 2002 after a series of surgeries and has slowly returned to the top of the badminton world. Now 28 years old, Christensen is the current world number two and he will be eager to settle the score with Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat in Singapore.

    Christensen beat Taufik at this year’s All-England semifinals, but lost to his Indonesian archrival at the Athens Olympics. The Dane leads 6-2 in head-to-head meetings against reigning Asian champion Taufik and Singapore fans will be hoping for another mouthwatering clash between the two at this year’s Aviva Open.

    Besides Christensen, Denmark can also look to current world number seven Kenneth Jonassen and world number nine Anders Boesen to spring some surprises at the Aviva Open. Jonassen will be hoping to build on last month’s win at the Dutch Open, while Boesen will be eager to upset top Chinese aces like Chen Hong and Bao Chunlai. The Danes have never won a singles title at the Singapore Open and Christensen came closest when he lost Hendrawan 10-15, 8-15 in 1998.

    Denmark, however, will favour their chances for the Aviva Open men’s doubles title. Defending champions Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard Hansen will be eager to repeat last year’s win in Singapore and the current world number three pair has a good season so far winning the European Championships and the All England.

    Besides Eriksen and Lundgaard, Denmark can also count on reigning world champion and current world number four Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen. Paaske and Rasmussen won the recent five-star Denmark Open and will be eager to add another huge win under their win.

    Men doubles aside, Denmark could also claim the mixed doubles crown at the 2004 Aviva Open. Current world number six Jens Eriksen and Mette Schjoldager are no strangers to winning in Singapore, having won the title in 2001. Fast improving pair Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl will be eager to build on their recent win at the Dutch Open, while Rikke Olsen and Carsten Mogensen are the dark horses to watch after their stunning upset of world number two Chen Qiqiu and Zhao Tingting at last month’s German Open final. Denmark previously won the mixed doubles title at the Singapore Open in 2001, 1994, 1992 and 1991.


    Issued by Octagon RTA on behalf of organising committee on 3 November 2004
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Singapore Open beamed live to 9 countries

    It was reported in yesterday's Straits Times, Fri, Nov 5, that:

    "This month's Aviva Open will be beamed live to nine countries including China, whose terrestrial TV station CCTV will have 5 hours of live coverage.
    In 2002, the Open was shown only in Singapore. Last year, it went out to seven countries."

    It appears that in all, the sponsorship of the Singapore Open will amount to some S$400,000 as compared with S$260,000 in 2002.

    "Aviva has committed US$1.5 million (S$2.5 million) to badminton for the next three years."

    Overall, the report says that sport sponsorships in Singapore for this year experienced a 'bull run' worth more than S$15 million and "the market for sports events does not include items like television revenue, commercial profits or indirect contributions to the economy". This comprises of 42 international events (30% increase over last year) and worth an estimated S$15 million in investments (up 40%).

    "Since the initial push in 2001, there has been an influx of corporate sponsors, among which include Caltex, Carlsberg, Aviva, HSBC and Standard Chartered. Overseas television coverage has also increased." :)
     

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