All England: Stars Set to Return from Injury

Former No.1 Sayaka Hirota is among several stars slated to return at the YONEX All England 2024 after their absence from the circuit in recent months due to injury.

Hirota’s last match was the semifinals of the Syed Modi International 2023 last December. The Japanese suffered a left knee injury during a rally at 11-9 in the opening game, after which she and Yuki Fukushima retired.

Hirota and Fukushima, who won the All England in 2020, will take on Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen in the opening round.

Another player looking to put her injury troubles behind her will be Pornpawee Chochuwong. The Thai was well placed in the rankings at the end of last year – finishing the season with a semifinals placing at the HYLO Open – but injury troubles have seen her play only two full matches this year. With her ranking sliding to No.16, and Supanida Katethong having leapt over her in the Race to Paris, Chochuwong will hope for a return to form in the European leg as the qualifying period winds down.

Chochuwong in competition with Katethong for a spot in Paris.

Two-time world champion Akane Yamaguchi, who made a tentative comeback earlier this year from an injury layoff, will be back in action at the tournament she won in 2022. Yamaguchi, who retired from her Asian Games quarterfinal last August, played two events this season, while still on the road to full recovery. Yamaguchi takes on Zhang Yi Man, to whom she lost in the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open last month.

Meanwhile, there will be a lot of anticipation around the form of the ‘Daddies’ – who return to action having played only one full match since November. Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan retired in the second round at the Malaysia Open but given that they always find form at the All England – they were runners-up last year – it will be interesting to see how they fare against the in-form Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty in their opening bout.

Ahsan and Setiawan tend to do well at the All England.

Highlights of the Draw

Among the players returning from an injury hiatus will be Mathias Christiansen. Christiansen, who had an overuse condition known as jumper’s knee (patellar tendinitis), and Alexandra BØje’s last international event was the LI-NING China Masters 2023 in November. The Danes face Hiroki Midorikawa/Natsu Saito in the top quarter.

Two-time champion Viktor Axelsen, who was upset by Ng Tze Yong in the second round last year, will be up against Kidambi Srikanth in his first assignment this time. Axelsen has played only one World Tour event so far this year – making the semifinals in Malaysia – and will look to retake his place on top of the podium.

Similarly, women’s doubles No.1 Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan, having played only the Malaysia Open in 2024, start their campaign for a second All England title facing Hsu Ya Ching/Lin Wan Ching in the first round.

Full draw

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