All England: Highlights of the Draw

The 113th edition of the world’s oldest tournament – the YONEX All England 2023 — begins at the Utilita Arena on 14 March 2023. Here are the draw highlights:

Jordan/Oktavianti Back

Mixed doubles will see 2020 champions Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti back in action at the All England. The Indonesians, who returned as a pair at the Indonesia Masters last month following a long break due to Jordan’s injury, take on compatriots Dejan Ferdinansyah/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in their opening test.

Intense Men’s Doubles

The men’s doubles opening rounds are evidence of how competitive this category has become lately.

Top seeds Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, for instance, will have no time to ease into the draw, for they face Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae – the Koreans who were semifinalists at the year’s first two tournaments.

Two-time champions Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, who are still searching for their best form, have dangerous opening round opponents in Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty. The Indians have never beaten the Minions in 11 previous encounters, but will sniff their chance as their opponents have struggled in recent months.

Second seeds Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, runners-up in India, face off against Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin, who won back-to-back events in Indonesia and Thailand.

An, Akane the Ones to Beat

An Se Young

Akane Yamaguchi and An Se Young have been the two standout players in women’s singles in recent months. The two are at the opposite ends of the draw, and it will be interesting to see if they come through a minefield. An, for instance, has Carolina Marin in her quarter, while Yamaguchi will expect a quarterfinal clash against either Wang Zhi Yi or Han Yue.

The third quarter might see some fireworks, with Pusarla V Sindhu, He Bing Jiao and Tai Tzu Ying in the reckoning for the quarterfinal spot. Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei is in the second quarter; her first-round opponent, Michelle Li, had a narrow loss to her in India and will sense her opportunity for an upset.

Can Momota Find Form?

Among the most watched first round matches will be Kento Momota against Kunlavut Vitidsarn. Although Momota has been a shadow of his former self, while Vitidsarn is now the brightest young star in the circuit, Momota’s track record and popularity will have fans lining up in anticipation of him rediscovering his form.

Another interesting first round clash will be Chou Tien Chen versus Lakshya Sen – both All England finalists (Chou in 2020; Sen in 2022), who fell to the same player, Viktor Axelsen.

Axelsen himself, after a rare loss in a final (at the India Open), has Lee Cheuk Yiu to contend with first, before a potential quarterfinal against Loh Kean Yew.

Lee Pairs With Baek

In women’s doubles, Lee So Hee has been paired with Baek Ha Na, after she played the year’s first two events with regular partner Shin Seung Chan. The Koreans are in a tough quarter with second seeds Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida, eighth seeds Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti, and Thailand Masters winners Benyapa and Nuntakarn Aimsaard.

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