Japan Open: Former Winners Tai, Lee/Yoo Take Tokyo


The first round of the BWF Superseries Japan Open will get underway at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Wednesday, with several intriguing matches on the menu, including VICTOR Korea No.1 Son Wan Ho taking on Lin Dan. Latest top 10 entrants Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta will also open their bid against Olympic champion Zhao Yunlei, with her new partner Zhong Qianxin.
If the world no.1s and 2014 champs Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong are to retain their title, they will have to pick up their best form as early in the quarterfinals, where their compatriots Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Choel could potentially stand in the way. In their only meeting this year in June at the Indonesia Open, Ko/Shin blasted away in straights and finally lifted the trophy.
Never having failed prior to the semis in the Japanese capital, 2012 winner Tai Tzu Ying as the fourth seed in women’s singles this year, will be up against a qualifier in the opening round. She could meet fellow Team VICTOR player Bae Yeon Ju in the second rounds. The other seed in her quarter sits China’s Wang Yihan.
Tai Tzu Ying, 2014
2014 Japan Open runner-up - Tai Tzu Ying
Tai Tzu Ying, Chinese Taipei Open
Tai became the first Taiwanese woman to ever reach top 3 in singles.
Lee Yong Dae, Yoo Yeon Seong
2014 Japan Open champion - Lee Yong Dae (R)/Yoo Yeon Seong
Lee Yong Dae, Yoo Yeon Seong
Lee (L)/Yoo just missed another chance this year at the World Champion title. They were stopped in the semifinals and finished with a bronze medal.
Ko Sung Hyun, Shin Baek Choel, Chinese Taipei Open
World Champions Shin (L) and Ko trail 2-3 in career head-to-head against compatriots Lee and Yoo but have won the most recent meeting in June.
Son Wan Ho
Now dropping to No.10 in the world and unseeded this week, Korean No.1 Son is given a tough first-round draw against Lin Dan.
Ashwini Ponnappa, VICTOR
After a quarterfinal showing in the World Championships, VICTOR India star Ponnappa and Gutta achieved BWF top 10 debut.
Sung Ji Hyun, World Championships
Sung Ji Hyun netted her first medal at the BWF World Championships a few weeks ago. She was also the semifinalist last year here in Tokyo.
Tan Wee Kiong, Goh V Shem
Malaysia's Tan Wee Kiong (L) and Goh V Shem land in a relatively soft position in the draw.

The Real Deal

VICTOR is inviting you to join us in tracking and examining the best results from Team VICTOR players and cheering for them along the way to the Summer Olympics.
Starting from Sudirman Cup in May, 2015, in a 52-week process, players will be giving all out to fight for their Olympic dream and to collect the ranking points on the BWF World Tour for the final qualification. In our #TheReaDeal on-line campaign, we’ll be taking a look at the names which are going to make a “Rio” threat as we count down to the badminton event of the world sport gala.
The Real Deal, Olympic Games Badminton

( Edit by VICTOR Badminton )