Vietnam Open 2011 attracts big badminton names

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The 2011 Yonex-Sunrise Vietnam Open Grand Prix opened in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday, with prominent international badminton players set to vie for the title.

Forty-two Vietnamese players, including the world's 7th ranked Nguyen Tien Minh as the men's singles top seed, will compete at the week-long event that carries a total cash prize of US$50,000.

In the fray are 9th-ranked Japanese player Sho Sasaki, 22nd-ranked Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto, 115th-ranked Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, and 36th ranked Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong.

All hopes of the hosts are, yet again, pinned on Minh who could have a fight on his hands, given his loss to Sho Sasaki in the men's singles final match at the US Open last month.

In the women's singles, 16-year-old Thai Ratchanok Inthanon, ranked 12th in the world, is the reigning champ. Other big names in the tournament are 17th-ranked Japanese Sato Sayaka, 24th-ranked Japanese Goto Ai, 36th-ranked Bulgarian Linda Zechiri and the 19th-ranked Taiwanese Tai Tzu Ying, 18, who won the 2011 U.S Open championship.

In the men's doubles event 9th-ranked Japanese pair Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata stand out, while  the women's doubles event welcomes 15th-ranked Dutch duo Lotte Jonathans -Paulien Van Dooremalen.

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