All England Open, one of badminton’s most prestigious events, gets underway in Birmingham, England, from March 14-19. The tournament carries prize money worth $1,250,000.
This is the second Super 1000 event of the BWF World Tour in 2023, and all the top stars will be in action, with 32 players and pairings competing for the honours in all five disciplines.
Men’s singles remains a stronghold of world no. 1 Viktor Axelsen. On the other hand, women’s singles in 2023 continue to be dominated by Akane Yamaguchi and An Se Young, with the duo playing three finals since January, the latest being the German Open.
Yamaguchi, the regaining world champion, started the year with the Malaysia Open, and Young claimed India Open and Indonesia Masters. At the German Open last week, Yamaguchi thrashed Young in straight games.
Axelsen and Yamaguchi entered Arena Birmingham as the top seeds.
Players to watch out for:
In men’s singles, Axelsen, the defending champion, will enter the event as the favourite. After a stellar season in 2022, when he won seven Super Series titles, the Dane started the year claiming the Malaysia Open. He was the runner-up at the India Open, losing to emerging star Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
Besides Axelsen, Lee Zii Jia, H.S. Prannoy and Jonatan Christie, who has a 2-7 head-to-head record against Axelsen, will be the star attractions at the All England Open.
Lakshya Sen, Vitidsarn, Kodai Naroaka and Loh Kean Yew are the youngsters to watch out for in Birmingham.
The women’s singles, meanwhile, is an open field with so many top players featuring in the event. While Yamaguchi is the defending champion, An Se Young is the player in form. With two Super Series titles each to their credit in 2023, the Japanese and Korean duo will be among the strongest contenders for the All England Open, the oldest badminton tournament.
The field also comprised Olympic champion Chen Yufei, Tai Tzu Ying, He Bing Jing Jao, fit-again Carolina Marin and P.V. Sindhu, who is unseeded and will be desperate to regain her dominance over the field after getting off to a patchy start to 2023.
In doubles, all eyes will be on world no. 6 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, with the duo making a comeback since playing the season-opening Malaysia Open. Satwik, who had been nursing a nip injury since January, will be hoping to continue his last season’s good run with Chirag at the Birmingham Arena.
Dhruv Kapila-M.R. Arjun is the other Indian men’s doubles pairing that will be in action in the tournament.
However, last year’s semifinalist, Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand is India’s lone hope in women’s doubles, which is dominated by China’s Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan. Similarly, Ishaan Bhatnagar-Tanisha Crasto is the only pairing representing India in mixed doubles, which has been under the gasp of Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong of late.
When and where to watch the All England Open 2023 in India?
The matches at the All England Open 2023 begin at 2.30 PM Indian Standard Time.
Live streaming of the All England Open 2023 will be available on the Jio Cinema app and website in India as well as the Badminton World Federation’s official YouTube channel, BWF TV.
The matches of the All England Open 2023 will be telecast live on the Sports 18 1 TV channel in India from the quarterfinal stage.