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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Ready to go again?
Date: 1/18/2021 11:12 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Part one of the return of badminton came to a close with an emotional finals day yesterday at the YONEX Thailand Open. We recharge, breath in and go again tomorrow with the TOYOTA Thailand Open. 

Men’s singles
Fighting back the tears with his arms aloft after winning another title, Viktor Axelsen will try and recover not only physically, but emotionally before his first-round against Canada’s Jason Ho-Shue. If all goes to plan in the early rounds, a rematch against Jonatan Christie, who was not at 100 per cent last week, could be on the cards. 

While the Danish four in the world lifted the title, the Danish number three in the world sat in his hotel room contemplating what went wrong in his first-round loss to Daren Liew. Itching to return to court to put this right, Ander Antonsen faces another battle-hardened opponent in Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk who turned 30 last year. 

The very attacking Thai left-hander has defeated Antonsen in their two previous encounters, although the last coming three years ago at the Malaysia Open. This may pray on his mind, but Antonsen will be vying for a good run this time. 

For the full MS draw, click here.

Women’s singles
Sometimes draws can be cruel. For France’s Qi Xuefei, this is especially the case as in both Thailand Opens she has drawn the reigning Olympic champion, and winner of the first Thailand Open, Carolina Marin. This time, however, Qi can aim to capitalise on a long and tough week for Marin. 

Another player who left everything out on court is Mia Blichfeldt, who achieved her best result yet at this level and really cemented her status as the top singles player in Denmark. Blichfeldt has another opportunity to demonstrate this against her compatriot, Line Kjaersfeldt in the first round. 

For the full WS draw, click here.

Men’s doubles
Europe’s top-ranking pair, Kim Astrup/ Anders Rasmussen are yet to get off the mark and will have the prospect of facing the young Indonesian talents of Leo Rolly Carnando/ Daniel Marthin. The Danes defeated the World Junior Champions last year, however, the progression of Carnando/ Marthin since then seems great, reaching the semifinal last week. 

Russian’s Vladimir Ivanov/ Ivan Sozonov had a frustrating opening round last week, losing to England’s Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy. This time they have an enticing draw, facing Muhammad Fikri/ Bagas Maulana in the opening round. If successful, they will face either Germany’s Lamsfuss/ Seidel or a young Thai pair promoted from reserve to reach the quarterfinals.

For the full MD draw, click here.

Women’s doubles 
Europe’s highest-ranked pair in Thailand, Chloe Birch/ Lauren Smith will face Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo/ Yap Cheng Wen, ranked seven places behind them in the world. They have not played previously, and the winner will face Emilie Lefel/ Anne Tran of France who receive a bye in round one. 

Alexandra Bøje/ Mette Poulsen have a unique situation in that if they win their opening match against Singapore’s Jin Yujia/ Wong Jia Ying, they potentially have a bye into the quarterfinal. 

For the full WD draw, click here.

Mixed doubles
The headline-grabbing pair of last week was the French combination of Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue who reached the semifinal. They came away from the match against Praveen Jordan/ Melati Oktavianti feeling that they could have won. Well, they get to give it a go in their very next match as in the opening round they have drawn the All England champions and number two seeds. 

England’s Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith are looking to bounce back from their early exit last week. The number nine in the world pair face the number 11 pair in Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng/ Lai Pei Jing. Surprisingly, they are yet to play against each other, but the English pair will have extra motivation as the winner will have a chance to meet Mathias Christiansen/ Alexandra Bøje in the second round, so they have a chance for revenge from the week before.
 
For the full XD draw, click here.

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