The HSBC BWF World Tour 2021’s first Super 1000 event is fast approaching. Here’s what you need to know about badminton’s oldest competition.
- Inaugural edition in 1899 only consisted doubles events; singles were introduced a year later.
- Has been played at eight venues, with the longest run being at the Wembley Arena (1957-1993).
- Sir George Thomas is the most successful player with 21 championships.
- Record for consecutive titles belongs to Indonesian men’s singles great Rudy Hartono – seven (1968-1974).
- No athlete has more singles crowns than American Judy Devlin. Ten is her magic number.
- With 189.5 titles across five categories, England sit atop the performance table.
OPEN ERA (1980 ONWARD)
- Mixed pair Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms remain the final home shuttlers to be victorious (2005).
- Doubles legend Gao Ling is the most decorated with 11 wins.
- Li Yongbo/Tian Bingyi are the last men’s doubles to finish winners three times (1987, 1988, 1991).
- Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan are well-placed to equal their achievements this year.
- Despite Indonesia’s pedigree, they have not toasted a men’s singles champion since Hariyanto Arbi in 1994. Two seeds Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (4) and Jonatan Christie (5) lead their charge this time.
- Malaysia, meanwhile, has not had success in doubles discipline after Kien Keat Koo/Tan Boon Heong triumphed in 2007.
- Their best chance of ending that drought is in mixed doubles, where they have three seeded pairs. Interestingly, Malaysia have never had a winning tandem in the event.
- Fourteen former winners returning are Kento Momota, Viktor Axelsen, Nozomi Okuhara, Ahsan/Setiawan, Gideon/Sukamuljo, Hiroyuki Endo, Yuta Watanabe, Yuki Fukushima, Sayaka Hirota, Arisa Higashino, Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti.
- Axelsen stands to become the first back-to-back men’s singles king since Lee Chong Wei in 2011. It is the longest category not to see a holder defend his title.
- Gao Ling is the last to win in two departments at the same edition (women’s and mixed doubles in 2006). Watanabe, seeded in men’s and mixed doubles, could emulate her in Birmingham.
- Fukushima/Hirota can be the first Japanese women’s pair in 48 years to retain their prize. Machiko Aizawa/Etsuko Takenaka did so in 1972 and 1973.
- China are the most recent to do a sweep, in 2009 when they ended Denmark’s record that stood from 1948.
- Among countries waiting for their maiden All England champion (s) but have seeded entries are Thailand (women’s singles and doubles), Bulgaria (women’s doubles) and France (mixed doubles).
- India, who have only celebrated victories in men’s singles, can also count on seeds in women’s singles (Pusarla V. Sindhu) and men’s doubles (Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty).
Standout Stat: Only pairs from China, Japan and Indonesia have won in mixed doubles at the previous 15 tournaments.