With her title victory at the Kumamoto Masters Japan 2023, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung moved into the top eight of the BWF World Tour Rankings. With three Chinese – Chen Yu Fei, Han Yue and He Bing Jiao — ahead of her, Tunjung is effectively in seventh place as only two players per Member Association can qualify.
Beiwen Zhang, in ninth place, is well-positioned to make the grade although the American has skipped the China Masters. Pornpawee Chochuwong, ranked immediately below her, has been out of action due to injury, while Supanida Katethong’s first round loss in Shenzhen means she will not challenge Zhang for a place in the top eight.
In men’s singles, Viktor Axelsen’s title win at the Kumamoto Masters on Sunday saw him rise to No.3 behind Jonatan Christie and Li Shi Feng. Shi Yu Qi, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Kodai Naraoka, Anders Antonsen and Ng Tze Yong are the others in the top eight.
World champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn gets automatic qualification despite being in ninth place, which means only the top seven places will be up for grabs. The race is tight between Ng Tze Yong and Kenta Nishimoto, while Lee Zii Jia is over 1700 points behind. Interestingly, Malaysian compatriots Ng and Lee face off in the first round.
In men’s doubles, Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi’s runner-up finish in Kumamoto has propelled them four places up, to No.8. Malaysians Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi, in 9th place effectively, didn’t do themselves any favours with a first round loss to compatriots Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik at the China Masters. Olympic champions Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin will look to overtake them with a strong campaign in Shenzhen.
Young women’s doubles pair Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning have risen up the ranks in quick time; they are No.4 in just their first year on the World Tour, with a runner-up place in Kumamoto being the latest of their exploits.
With a clutch of Japanese, Korean and Chinese pairs in the top 10, and Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti sitting pretty at seventh, Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai (eighth) and Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard will look at edging each other out at the China Masters, for they are separated by just over 1500 points.
In mixed doubles, the race is tight between Ye Hong Wei/Lee Chia Hsin, Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet and Hiroki Midorikawa/Natsu Saito.