The three-month absence of Super Series badminton ends this week when the worlds best converge in Singapore for the 5th Super Series event of 2010. With the World Championships just three months away, the top players will be looking to play their way into winning form before Paris in late August.
The draw however is without a large Chinese attendance, with the squad likely in a 3-month training camp ahead of the World Championships. The draw is still laden with world-class players such as #1 seed Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles. The 2010 All England Champion plays Brice Leverdez of France in his opening match. The European threat will come from #2 seed, Peter Gade. The current European champions starts with a tough match against Andre Tedjono of Indonesia. Kenichi Tago’s fantastic 2010 has been rewarded with the Japanese player earning the #8 this week; he begins with a first round match against Hsieh Yu Hsing of Chinese Taipei.
Saina Nehwal is the #1 seed in the women’s singles, with the Indian beginning his campaign against Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia. Tine Rasmussen is the #2 seed, as she returns to a full schedule after missing most of the 2009 with injury. She begins her campaign against Aditl Mutatkar of India. The sole “big name” Chinese representative is the 2009 World Champion, Lu Lan. The Chinese #4 seed begins her campaign against one of the stars of the Thomas Cup for Japan, Ai Goto.
The men’s doubles is without the Chinese powerhouses of Cai and Fu as well as Lee Yong Dae but the draw is still packed with excellent players. The #1 seeds are Koo and Tan who begin their week against Kim and Shin of Korea. Kido and Setiawan are seeded 2 and begin against the talented Japanese duo of Hayakawa and Kazuno, but in their previous meeting in the Thomas Cup, Kido and Setiawan demolished the duo 21-11, 21-9. The #3 and #4 seeds are battling for their own personal reasons, to be Denmark’s #1 partnership. Boe and Mogensen are the #3 seeds this week and begin against Ellis and Mills of England; whilst the #4 seeded Paaske and Rasmussen take on the new Chinese pair of Liu and Qiu. Qiu reached the Asian Championship Semi Final in the mixed with partner Tian Qing.
The mixed doubles is littered with potential winners, from the top seeded Widianto and Natsir to the new Korean pair of Shin and Lee seeded 7. The current world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are also in the draw seeded #2. Widianto and Natsir begin against Delbo Larsen and Schjott-Kristiensen of Denmark in round 1. The #8 seeded Wallwork and Robertson could have an all-English match in Round 2 against White and Blair if both come through their opening matches.