European stars want to end year on a high

12/9/2015 1:42 AM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Manuel Røsler
A few European stars will compete for a slice of the $1million prize pot on offer at this week's BWF World Superseries Finals in Dubai. The event involves the top eight players of the five categories. The year ending tournament gets under way at the Hamdan Sports Complex on Wednesday.

Viktor Axelsen and Jan Ø. Jørgensen target semi-finals

European Champion Jan Ø. Jørgensen has been drawn into group A with title holder and world champion Chen Long of China. They are joined by Tian Houwei of China and Hu Yun from Hong Kong.

Chen Long, the world no 1, holds a superior head-to-head record, with 7 wins to Jørgensen's one, but the two-time BWF World Superseries Finals champion had difficulties to beat the Danish number one in their recent meetings. Long beat Jørgensen in this year’s Yonex All-England Open final, but has struggled in last year’s Indonesia Open semi-final as the Dane beat the Chinese in two games.

“I have had a great year with two runner-ups at the All England and Indonesia - and of course the medal at the World Championships in Jakarta. I want to end this year well and I hope to do well next week. The preparation for Dubai has not been the best, I have struggled with a cold the last weeks - but it’s slowly getting better. I hope to be 100% in shape next Wednesday when the group stage kicks off”, said Jan Ø. Jørgensen via Facebook.

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen (main picture) will start his Dubai campaign against Taiwan’s Tien Chen Chou in group B on Wednesday. Later he will face India’s K. Srikanth and group favourite Kento Momota of Japan. Axelsen has not faced Momota for over six months, losing in three games to the Japanese player in the Sudirman Cup, but the Dane has won against Momota in the Yonex German Open last year.

Five-time world badminton champion Lin Dan of China has withdrawn from the Dubai World Super Series Finals to be held from Wednesday due to injury, it was announced on Sunday.

Marin qualified for the first time

The women's singles title holder is Taiwanese Tai Tzu Ying, whose task will be much tougher this year because the field will contain European superstar Carolina Marin, the two-time world champion from Spain.

Last year, Marin was denied a place because the pioneering Spaniard was outside the top eight BWF Superseries ranking. Now she heads the list and will face former world number one Saina Nehwal of India, Nozomi Okuhara, the up-and-coming youngster from Japan and title holder Tai Tzu Ying.

The Adocks ready to shine

English superstars Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, who are ranked at seven in the world, have enjoyed a solid year on the Superseries tour and were rewarded with a place in the season-ending event.

The English duo will be competing in their third straight Superseries Finals after reaching the semi-finals in 2014 and Gabby is champing at the bit to get back to action. "With the best eight pairs in the world here every game will be extremely tough," she said to Badminton England.

"But we are excited by the challenge and hope to end the season on a high."
The Adcocks have been pitted in a tough-looking group, with the top two progressing to the last four. They will play Hong Kong's Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah, China's world and defending champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, and Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, Indonesia’s world number three pair.

Chris added: "It's an amazing event, we really enjoyed the whole spectacle last year and hope to do the same this time.  "We have had a very good consistent year and it's a great reward to get to go to the finals in Dubai."

Click here for the official event's website.

Denmark’s mixed superstars Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen, who won the event four times since 2008, will play China’s Liu/Bao, Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na of Korea and Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto in a strong group B.

With Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Denmark) and Selena Piek/Eefje Muskens (The Netherlands) two European duos have qualified in the women’s doubles event. And both were drawn in group B. Also Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, who won the tournament in 2010, 2011 and 2012, have been drawn with their compatriots Mads Kolding/Mads Conrad in group B.

Men’s singles:

Group A:

Chen Long (CHN)
Jan Ø. Jørgensen (DEN)
Tian Houwei (CHN)
Hu Yun (HKG)

Group B:

Kento Momota (JPN)
Viktor Axelsen (DEN)
Tien Chen Chou (TPE)
K. Srikanth (IND)

Women’s singles:

Group A:

Carolina Marin (ESP)
Nozomi Ukuhara (JPN)
Saina Nehwal (IND)
Tai Tzu Ying (TPE)

Group B:

Wang Shixian (CHN)
Wang Yihan (CHN)
Ratchanok Intanon (THA)
Sung Ji-hyun (KOR)

Click here for an overview of all groups.

Previous BWF World Superseries Finals champions from Europe:

2014 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
2013 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN) & Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN)
2012 Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (DEN) & Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
2011 Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (DEN)
2010 Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (DEN)
2009 Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
2008 Thomas Laybourn/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (DEN)

Click here for champions of the tournament since 2008.
Click here for all results including live score from Dubai.

BWF’s dedicated YouTube channel will bring you all the live action from Dubai.

Article by Manuel Rösler. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.


 
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