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Determined debutants: Ever since I knew about the finals it’s been a dream
Date: 1/25/2021 2:10 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The HSBC BWF World Tour Finals, which wraps up the 2020 season, will be held this week, from 27 to 31 January 2021. There are plenty of debuts being made. Will we get a new winner? 

The BWF World Tour Finals which began in 2018, succeeded the BWF Super Series Finals, is an annual event which is ordinarily held every December. With the global pandemic, players with the most points from the calendar have been invited to the end of season finale in January 2021. 

On Wednesday, we will see several debuts from players/ pairs from a variety of nations. Previous winners in the previous two years have come from China, Japan, India and Indonesia. This list is likely to get longer this week. 

One pair who have had a stellar few weeks in Thailand are the young English pair of Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy. 

-To sum up the first two weeks of the Super 1000 tournaments, it’s really nice to be back on court and playing well. I think the break from tournaments has actually done myself and Ben pretty good, Vendy stated. 

A special feeling
It is hard to argue with this statement. At the YONEX Thailand Open, they scored a well-fought win over former European Champions and 2020 All England Open semifinalists, Vladimir Ivanov/ Ivan Sozonov. At the TOYOTA Thailand Open, reaching the quarterfinals, they defeated the number six in the world pair, Fajar Alfian/ Muhammad Rian Ardianto. 

-We’ve had time to improve some of our weak points and it’s showing at the highest level now as we’re beating some top pairs, Vendy added. 

Now Lane, 23, and Vendy, 24, a pair on everyone’s radar since their 2015 European Junior Championships silver medal, have made it to the World Tour Finals. For Vendy, it is a major milestone. 

-Ever since I knew about the finals it has been a dream to qualify one day. It is a special feeling as only eight pairs in the world go, so we’re really looking forward to getting back out on court and try and put in some good performances. 

The number one English pair, Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge, also score their first appearance at the end of season finale. Despite the rapid ascension to this level, Lane/ Vendy remain grounded. 

-We are still developing and trying to get better every time we step on court and a chance to play another three high-level opponents is hugely beneficial for us and our development - of course, we will be doing our best to win!

A historic first for Russia
Evgeniya Kosetskaya has become the first Russian singles player to qualify for the season finale as she placed seventh in the list of eligible players. 

The European Games bronze medallist, with 26750 points from nine tournaments, was ninth in the HSBC Road to Bangkok Finals Rankings, she qualified along with the tenth-ranked Pusarla V Sindhu as Nozomi Okuhara (seventh) and Busanan Ongbamrunphan (eighth) were not eligible.

- I am very happy and will do everything possible to show a good game. And of course, I am glad that the BWF has done everything possible so that we can play on the international stage again and at the same time making us feel safe without worrying about our health, Kosetskaya said.

Also debuting at the World Tour Finals will be her compatriots Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov in men’s doubles. The only previous Russian participant was Anastasia Russkikh, at the 2010 edition – she played women’s doubles with Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva.

The HSBC BWF World Tour Finals, which wraps up the 2020 season, will be held this week, from 27 to 31 January 2021. The draw for the group stage will be held tomorrow.

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