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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Preview: New singles champions to be crowned
Date: 10/17/2020 10:32 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The two-time defending champions and the world number ones, Kento Momota and Tai Tzu Ying, have opted out the Denmark Open this year. This has opened the way for new players to claim the prestigious Super 750 title in both the singles categories. 

As we progress towards the business end of the tournament, here is a breakdown of the upcoming weekend.

Men’s singles  
We are in for a treat as the Danish world number three Anders Antonsen takes on Chinese Taipei’s world number two Chou Tien Chen for the ninth time. 

Their head-to-head record of 1-7 is far from being a reliable indicator of the actual matchup. As the Dane has recently come of age, he will look forward to making up for the All England semifinal, where he had to retire following a sprained ankle. Indeed, one would love to have a repeat of the 2019 Indonesia Open final, which was 91 minutes of men’s singles at its very best.
 
Worthy of a final
Especially after the withdrawal of Momota, it is not far-fetched to assume that this semifinal clash will decide the eventual champion. Both the players enjoy very favourable records against the other two semifinalists Kenta Nishimoto and Rasmus Gemke.

Kenta, not Kento
Nishimoto will seek to make the final for Japan in place of his more celebrated compatriot. Despite an unenviable record of 0-3 against the 26-year-old, Gemke can rely on the home support to eventually set up an all-Danish men’s singles final after 12 years.

Women’s singles 
Carolina Marin and Nozomi Okuhara are the heavy favourites to contest the women’s singles final on Sunday. 

It is surprising that neither of the former world number ones have won the prestigious title. Despite a scare against Beiwen Zhang in the quarterfinal, the Spaniard is not expected to have any trouble against the tired Yvonne Li, after back to back three-game matches. In the other semifinal, having completely outplayed her opponents so far and going in with a 7-3 record, the Japanese ace Okuhara will have a great chance as well against Michelle Li. 

Despite losing five of their last six encounters, last year’s runner-up Okuhara will be determined to go one step further this time as she expects to take on Carolina Marin in tomorrow’s final.

Doubles 
There is a good chance that we will witness an all-Japanese and all-English final in women’s doubles and mixed doubles respectively. 

It will need a colossal effort to have a European women’s doubles champion after 19 years. The Stoeva sisters have an incredibly tough task of surpassing the top two Japanese pairs, whom they have never defeated before. 

The Japanese epic
On the other hand, Yuki Fukushima/ Sayaka Hirota will want to reclaim the title they won two years ago while ending the run of four consecutive losses to their juniors Mayu Matsumoto/ Wakana Nagahara. The Japanese have produced, without a shadow of a doubt, the best-ever women’s doubles in the last two World Championships finals. Perhaps we will get to witness the highest-quality badminton once more.  

Ellis eyeing up a doubles double
Kim Dong-moon was the last player to win both men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at the Denmark Open in 2003. Marcus Ellis of England has an opportunity to reproduce that feat this weekend. The biggest hurdle in accomplishing this glory will be the Russians Vladimir Ivanov/ Ivan Sozonov, whom he has never beaten with his partner Chris Langridge. However, there is a lot more drama to unfold today before one might think of that encounter.

In mixed doubles, Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith have a slight upper hand against their opponents. Nevertheless, the Adcocks and the Germans Mark Lamsfuss/ Isabel Herttrich also have an equal chance of winning their biggest title. 

Follow us for the latest updates and player interviews from the Denmark Open 2020.

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