After a long awaited agony of non-competitive action on the international stage, the world’s best shuttlers including Kento Momota, Viktor Axelsen, Lee Zii Jia, Tai Tzu-ying and Carolina Marin are set to feature at the Asian leg trilogy in Bangkok.
The much awaited badminton restart will comprise of the Yonex Thailand Open (January 12th-17th), Toyota Thailand Open (January 19th-24th) and the backdated World Tour Finals (January 27th-31st).
Most of the shuttlers on the BWF World Tour have not featured since the All-England in March, and were only confined to internal tournaments.
The Denmark Open was successfully staged in October, but it was void of star participation with a majority of the big names reluctant to travel due to the global pandemic situation.
With Thailand promising intense safety precautions, the decision to stage a succession of events in the same venue was much welcomed.
The men’s singles will be the marquee event with the likes of Momota, Axelsen, Anders Antonsen, Chou Tien-chen, Lee and Anthony Ginting all looking to begin 2021 with a bang.
World number five Chen Long, however, is a surprise omission.
The women’s singles is also poised to be an open affair, with Tai, Marin, P.V. Sindhu, Nozomi Okuhara and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in the mix.
In the men’s doubles, world number one pair Kevin Sanjaya-Marcus Fernaldi will be among the favourites to win.
They are expected to face resistance from national teammates Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan, Keigo Sonoda-Takeshi Kamura and Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (Japan).
Malaysian pairs Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi could potentially be dark horses if they turn up on the day.
Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean can play without pressure in the women’s doubles, with the world number 14 pair expected to have a tough time against some of the top pairs including Chen Qing Chen-Jia Yi Fan (China) and Japanese pairs Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota and Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara.
Malaysia do stand a good chance of faring well in the mixed doubles through Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, who are all in the world top 12.