Women’s doubles – Left to Japanese devices
Left hander Ayako Sakuramoto possessing the most forceful smash of all four ladies was a significant edge that the Japanese New Zealand Open winners from last week had over the teenage reigning World Junior champions Lee Yu Rim / Baek Ha Na from Korea.
Their favourite formation was the Japanese left hander captaining the rear court while her partner Yukiko Takahata regularly intercepted shuttles for winners. The Koreans were left to defend solidly but made negligible inroads forwards to strike downwards.
The large Korean community cheered their players into the early lead of the second game but at the second interval Lee Yu Rim sought medical attention on her knee. Thereafter, the world #29 Koreans side slowed down and world #37 Japanese overtook towards their third victory against these opponents and second title across consecutive weeks, 23-21, 21-18.