Mesdames et messieurs: The Yonex French Open Superseries is about to begin. The 275.000 Dollars tournament will serve up a number of enticing matchups already in the opening rounds, including a clash between home favourite and French number one Brice Leverdez and former world number one Lee Chong Wei.
In-form Viktor Axelsen, who flew to Paris with a lot of new self-confidence after a fantastic week in Odense, will meet Wei Nan of Hong Kong and his compatriot, the 2014 European Champion Jan Ø. Jørgensen will go up against Hu Nun, also from Hong Kong.
English number one Rajiv Ouseph will play Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in the opening round. Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who had a great French Open last year by reaching the quarter-final losing to Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto in three games, will meet India’s Ajay Jayaram in the first round.
At this point, the favourites for the men's singles title are Yonex Denmark Open champion and top seed Chen Long, defending champion Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan. And not to forget the all-time legends Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, who are always great to watch but both struggling for form at the moment.
Axelsen and Jørgensen capable of taking home the title
Also the European stars Viktor Axelsen, who already reached the Yonex French Open final in 2012 and Denmark’s world number two Jan Ø. Jørgensen, winner of the French Open in 2013, are capable of leaving the French metropole on Sunday with the champion’s trophy. The week in Paris will show which men’s singles star is in truly dominant form.
for the full men’s singles draw
Yes, there is a good chance for world champion Carolina Marin to win her fourth Superseries title in Paris. But with this draw it will be a big challenge. The Spaniard could face Korean Sung Ji Hyun (No. 7) in the quarter-finals and the Olympic champion and Denmark Open winner Li Xuerui (No. 5) in the semi-final. Carolina starts out her quest for Superseries title No. 4 against Iris Wang (USA).
Dutch Open runner-up Karin Schnaase of Germany faces off against Minatsu Mitani of Japan while Kirsty Gilmour takes on Taiwanese shuttler Pai Yu Po.
for the full women’s singles draw
Can the Adcocks go one better?
Chris and Gabby Adcock will attempt to go one better at the YONEX French Open when they get their mixed doubles campaign under way in Paris this week. Twelve months on from their superb run to the 2014 final, the world number six pairing were due to play Jacco Arends and Seiena Piek on Tuesday, but the Dutch pair have withdrawn from the first round.
Meanwhile, the Olympic hopeful’s path to the last eight looks to be in their favour, before a potential meeting with Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin, the Chinese pair who beat the Adcocks at the Denmark Open last week.
Denmark's Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen will start their French Open campaign against Hongkong duo Chan/Tse. Fischer and Pedersen are the number five seeds in the French capital.
for the full mixed doubles draw.
Boe and Mogensen are defending champions
The defending champions Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (Denmark) open up against Wang Yilv/Zhang Wen of China. 2014 European Champions Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov (pictured)
of Russia are playing the top seeds Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea.
for the full men’s doubles draw
Zwiebler withdraws from French Open
Former European Champion Marc Zwiebler, who won the tournament in 2003, withdrew from the tournament because of a foot injury. "I am disappointed that I won't be playing in Paris because it's a tournament and a city that I really enjoy and has incredible fans," says the German number one.
Must-See First-Round Matches:
MS: Brice Leverdez (FRA) vs Lee Chong Wei (MAS)
MS: Viktor Axelsen (DEN) vs Wei Nan (HKG)
MD: Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov (RUS) vs Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR)
MS: Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (DEN) vs Ajay Jayaram (IND)
MS: Jan Ø. Jørgensen (DEN) vs Hu Jun (HKG)
WD: Samantha Barning/Iris Tabeling (NED) vs Johanna Goliszewski/Carla Nelte (GER)
Qualifying matches for the Superseries tournament in Paris begin Tuesday morning.
for the latest results and live scoring from Paris.
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photos (LIVE) by BadmintonPhoto.