The 48 strong field in the women’s singles is missing one major name, the 2009 World Champion Lu Lan failed to reach the qualification within the Chinese rankings. With only the top four from any country eligible, Lu Lan was the 5th best ranked Chinese player, yet still the world number 9. Yanjiao Jiang is another casualty of the Chinese dominance in the event, being China’s number 6 and ranked 11 in the world.
Top seed Wang Yihan is given a bye in the first round before taking on the world #32 Porntip Buranaprasertuk of Thailand in the second round, her likely opponent is the 10th seeded Eriko Hirose. Hirose’s section starts with the 10th seed taking on Aditi Mutatkar of India, ranked 34th in the world. The winner of Hirose’s match will take on the winner of Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia, ranked 32nd in the world and Russia’s Tatjana Bibik, the world number 47.
Another Chinese player tops the seeding in the second section; Wang Lin of China is the 7th seed and receives a first round bye before taking on Slovenia’s world number 48, Maja Tvrdy. 12th seeded Yip Pui Yin is the other seed in the section and takes on local favourite and world number 106 Perrine Lebuhanic. The final match in the section and likely to play Yip Pui Yin in the second round is between Ireland’s Chloe Magee, ranked 69th in the world and Anna Rice of Canada, world number 42.
Tine Baun (formerly Rasmussen) is the 4th seed in the draw and the best chance for European success, after a first round bye she takes on Belgium’s world number, Lianne Tan who has failed to live up to her credentials as a junior to date. The second all-European match in the section is between Petya Nedelcheva, the 15th seed and Judith Meulendijks, the world number 23. This is one of the feature matches of the opening round. The winner of the previous match takes on the winner of Karen Foo Kune, the world number 102 and Larisa Griga, Ukraine’s world number 38.
Juliane Schenk offers European another possibility, the 8th seed has a first round bye before taking on Lydia Li Ya Cheah of Malaysia, the world number 78. The other seed in the section is the 14th seeded Bae Sueng Hee of Korea who plays Scotland’s world number 27 Susan Egelstaff in another extremely competitive opening round match. Last weeks winner Cheng Shao Chieh plays Any Nieminen of Finland with the winner taking on the winner of the Bae/Egelstaff match.
Hi Kim Moon is seeded 16 for the event and starts with a match against Portgual’s Telma Santos, the world number 88. The other opening round match in the section is between Michelle Chan Ky of New Zealand and Adrianti Firdasari of Indonesia, the world number 21 and the second highest ranked player not to be seeded. The highest seed in the section is France’s own Pi Hongyan who takes on Elena Prus of Ukraine, after a first round bye.
The 9th seeded Zhou Mi is the out of form seed in the competition, without a win in over a year and notorious for early upsets in the bigger events. Bulgaria’s Linda Zechiri, the world number 30 takes on Zhou Mi in round 1. Ai Goto has been in excellent form in recent months, the world number 22 takes on Alesia Zaitsava of Belarus, ranked 93rd in the world. The 3rd seeded Wang Xin is the highest seed in the section and after a opening round bye, takes on Canada’s Charmaine Reid, the world number 50.
The fourth of the Chinese seeds, Wang Shixian is the top seed from the seventh section of the draw but faces a tough opening match in the second round against world number 25, Thailand’s Salajkit Ponsana in another of the top matches in the opening round. Czech Kristina Ludikova, ranked 57th in the world takes on America’s Rena Wang, world number 80 for an opportunity to play the winner of the other match in the section, between Singapore’s Xing Aiying, world number 43 takes on the 11th seeded Yao Jie of Holland.
Similar to the men’s draw, Wong Mew Choo is ranked higher than one of the seeds in the event but the Malaysian missed out on a seeding. Hi Kim Moon is 20th in the world and the Wong is ranked 19th. Her campaign starts against the world number 51, Karin Schnaase of Germany for an opportunity to take on the seeded player in the second round. Ella Diehl is the seed from the top half of the section, with the 13th seed takes on another European tour veteran, Jeanine Cicognini, the world number 37 from Switzerland. The 2nd seeded Saina Newhal should put all the controversy over seeds to rest as she is the likely finalist from this half of the draw, she begins her week in round 2 with a match over Chen Hsiao Huan, the world number 65.
Eddie has been a writer for BadmintonLife.com since June 2009 covering the Major BWF events and Super Series events. Previous worked for The Guardian newspaper and was also featured in the New York Times during the London 2012 Olympics.