In the latest BWF rankings released on July 4, the world’s top-ranked players in the five badminton disciplines were:men’s singles:Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia); women’s singles: Li Xue Rui (China); men’s doubles: Ko Sung Hyun/Lee Yong Dae (ROK); women’s doubles: Wang Xiao Li/Yu Yang (China); mixed doubles: Xu Chen/Ma Jin (China.)
Ko Sung Hyun/Lee Yong Dae open up a big gap and are firmly in place at No.1
In the highly competitive men’s doubles discipline, the ROK’s Ko Sung Hyun and Lee Yong Dae have not just been able to reach the top spot, they have also opened a massive 10,000 gap between them and second placed Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia. Looking back on their success since the start of 2013, it is clear their formidable reputation is well-deserved.
Leaving tournaments under BWF Level 3 (introduction of BWF Tournament Levels) in the first half of 2013, Ko/Lee took one Super Series Premier title, the Badminton Asia Championship and four runners-up spots in Super Series tournaments, an impressive haul indeed. In the two international tournaments in June alone, the Indonesia Open 2013 and Singapore Open 2013, they claimed two second places. Their high level of skill and steady performance drawing on rich competition experience has made them frequent winners and given them a very big lead at the top of the world rankings.
Indonesia Open 2013 (June, 10~16)
In the final of the men’s doubles at the Indonesia Open, the ROK’s Ko/Lee faced fancied local pair Ahsan/Setiawan. Roared on by the home crowd, the local boys showed they were determined to take the title, playing aggressively and leaving few openings for the ROK pair, who in the end couldn’t resist the onslaught and went down 14-21,18-21 to take second place.
Yixin BAO  Shu CHENG
Xiaoli WANG  Yang (F) YU
Chong Wei LEE 
Xuerui LI 
Juliane SCHENK 
Mohammad AHSAN Hendra SETIAWAN
Sung Hyun KO 
Yong Dae LEE
Nan ZHANG  Yunlei ZHAO
FISCHER NIELSEN 
In other disciplines, Datuk Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, dealt with Germany’s Zwiebler in straight games to take the men’s title with little difficulty. In the women’s singles final, after a hard-fought three game match, Li Xue Rui was able to beat Germany’s Schenk, who will retire at the end of the year, by a narrow margin. In the women’s doubles, China’s Cheng Shu/Bao Yi Xin beat teammates Yu Yang/Wang Xiao Li, who many fancied to take the title, to take their first Premier series title. China’s Zhang Nan/Zhao Yun Lei took the mixed doubles title.
Singapore Open 2013 (June, 18~23)
In the final of the mixed doubles, Indonesia’s “Lighting pair” Tontowi/Liliyana showed excellent mutual understanding and great vigor as they met the challenge of the ROK’s Yoo Yeon Seong/Eom Hye Won; leaving their opponents with no answer to the onslaught they faced, Tontowi/Liliyana took an easy victory in just 35 minutes, taking their second Super Series title this year after their All-England title win in March.
Tontowi AHMAD  Liliyana NATSIR
Yeon Seong YOO
Hye Won EOM
Yihan WANG 
Xuerui LI 
Boonsak PONSANA 
Qing TIAN  Yunlei ZHAO
Misaki MATSUTOMO 
Mohammad AHSAN Hendra SETIAWAN
Sung Hyun KO  Yong Dae LEE
In other disciplines, the ROK’s Ko Sung Hyun/Lee Yong Dae again fell at the hands of Indonesia’s Ahsan/Setiawan in the final but still took their fourth Super Series runners-up spot of the year. In the men’s singles, after an epic 69 minute battle, Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto overcame Thailand’s Ponsana by a narrow margin to take the title. In the women’s singles final, Wang Yi Han of China beat compatriot Li Xue Rui;in the women’s doubles, Tian Qing/Zhao Lei, who haven’t played as a doubles pair for a long while, beat Japanese opponents to take the title.
Keep going, Tai Tzu Ying!
Chinese Taipei’s prodigy Tai Tzu Ying continued her steady march up the women’s singles world rankings and is now in eighth spot. Tai made it to the quarter-finals at almost all the Super Series and Grand Prix Gold tournaments in 2013 and took the title at the Malaysia Open, showing that she is a force to be reckoned with and there is still more to come. Give a little more time, it can be expected that she will break the record for the highest ranking ever held by a Chinese Taipei player in the women’s singles (Cheng Shao Chieh once reached seventh) and then go on to break her own record and march inexorably towards the world No. 1 spot!