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Swiss Open 2021: Singles Preview
Date: 2/27/2021 10:02 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The Race to Tokyo restarts in Basel, Switzerland, for the 2021 Swiss Open taking place 2-7 March. We take a closer look at the singles draws. 

World number two, Viktor Axelsen, seems like a man who has taken energy from the significant life events coming his way. The determined Dane won the All England last year, only for the tournament calendar to stop. He then became a father and then in January picked up two titles and a finals appearance at the BWF World Tour Finals. 

He looked unmoveable in Finland at the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships last week, and now as number one seed in Basel, with Anders Antonsen now added to the absent list, is there anyone who can stop him from helping himself to another title? 

Second seed Lee Zii Jia will hope to get another chance and push Axelsen as he did in Birmingham last year. Also, Korean Son Wan Ho aims to kickstart his Olympic qualification campaign in Switzerland and holds a 5-7 record against Axelsen, posing a potential threat. 

Toma Junior Popov, SaarLorLux Open winner and a major component of France’s silver medal-winning team last week is in the main draw. He will face up against Canada’s Brian Yang for the right to face either seventh seed, Shesar Hiren Rhustavito or Son Wan Ho. 

Centre of Excellence players and Swedish star, Felix Burestedt has a tough opening round against Rasmus Gemke. They played twice in 2019, with Gemke coming out a comfortable winner. It will be interesting to see how the match-up plays out two years on. 

For the full men’s singles draw, click here

Is it Spain’s turn? 
We have to go back to 2006 before we find a European winner of the women’s singles Swiss Open title. It was Germany’s Xu Huaiwen who followed up a title win by France’s Pi Hongyan the year before. Perhaps 2021 will be Spain’s turn? 

Carolina Marin took an oddly similar path in 2021 as Axelsen. Winning both Thailand Opens then coming up just short in the final of the BWF World Tour Finals. Tai Tzu Ying does not travel to Switzerland, so once again, can anyone stop Marin from picking up the top prize next week? 

Second seed P. V. Sindhu was out of sorts in Thailand, but her three-game battle with Tai in the group stages for the World Tour Finals reminds fans of her level. The tall Indian has a 5-8 record against Marin and would like to get her Olympic campaign going with a good run. 

The 2018 European Junior Championships gold medallist, Line Christophersen, was selected for the Danish mixed team which lifted the continental trophy last week. In Switzerland, she faces Belgium’s Lianne Tan for the first time. If successfully, the young Dane will have a chance to play some of the top players in her category, either Thailand’s Supanida Katethong or eighth-seed Kim Ga Eun of Korea. 

Her compatriot Mia Blichfeldt is seeded fourth and is eyeing up a potential second-round match against Germany’s Yvonne Li. The two played twice last week in Finland, taking a win each. If they meet in Switzerland it will perhaps be the decider between them. 

Kirsty Gilmour, the winner of the SaarLorLux Open 2020, who skipped the Asian Leg in Bangkok and the European Mixed Team Championships due to injury, is set to return in Basel. Defeating Marin in her title-winning run in Germany, Gilmour could pose the most dangerous of threats for the Spaniard. 

For the full women’s singles draw, click here.

Badminton Europe will be on-site reporting on the action every step of the way. 

To keep up to date with the news reports and post-match interviews from the Swiss Open, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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