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Day Two Preview: Three defending champions enter the fray

Three defending champions will look to kickstart their title defences as the second half of opening round matches take place at the YONEX All England on Wednesday.

2022 women’s singles champion and world No.1 Akane Yamaguchi begins her title defence with the Japanese favourite to take the title for a second straight year.

Fresh from victory at the YONEX German Open, Yamaguchi takes on Mia Blichfeldt in her opening match in Birmingham.

That match is the eighth on Court 1.

Elsewhere, an intriguing contest pits former YONEX All England champion Carolina Marin against Kirsty Gilmour in a rematch of last year’s European Championship final that was won by the Spaniard.

Victorious here in 2015, former world No.1 and seventh seed Marin is playing in Birmingham for the first time since 2020 after recent injury struggles. She’ll face Gilmour, not before 1:20pm, on Court 2.

Three-time champion Tai Tzu-Ying begins her campaign for a fourth title with a clash against South Korea’s Kim Ga-Eun, while 2022 runner-up and second seed An Se-Young opens versus Hsu Wen-Chi as the penultimate clash on Court 4.

Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida will be looking for a second straight women’s doubles crown and the Japanese start their title defence on Court 3 against Canada’s Catherine Choi and Josephine Wu.

They will be joined on court by projected semi-final opponents Jeong Na Eun and Kim Hye Jeong, the Koreans seeded fourth this year and beginning their tournament on Court 4 against Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lam.

Eight seeds Apriyani Rahaya and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti take on Brazil’s Jaqueline and Samia Lima, while an enticing first round clash pits Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela versus seventh seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.

Two-time mixed doubles defending champions Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino will step on to court for the first time on Wednesday.

The Japanese, seeded second this year, are on a ten-match winning streak at the Utilita Arena and will be looking to make it 11 in a row when they take on Tang Chun-Man and Tse Ying Suet, the third match on Court 1.

Fifth seeds Feng Yan Zhe and Huang Dong Ping, who fell in the final 12 months ago, start their quest for a first All England victory with the Olympic champions taking to Court 4 to face Ye Hong Wei and Lee Chia Hsin.

Third seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai will face Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje as the Thai pairing look to go one better than their runner-up finish in 2020.

Men’s singles action sees Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, who will begin his quest for a first YONEX All England title, the second seed facing Weng Hongyang of China in his opener.

Meanwhile, 2021 champion and fourth seed Lee Zi Jia will be looking to kickstart his stuttering season with an opening victory.

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The Malaysian takes on Sitthikom Thammasin on Wednesday, while one of the most anticipated contests sees sixth seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn take on Kento Momota.

Former world No.1 and 2019 All England champion Momota will be looking to channel past glories in his return to Birmingham, though Thailand’s Vitidsarn heads into this one as favourite based on recent form.

Several key protagonists in the men’s doubles will make their tournament bow on Wednesday.

Top seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto will take to court against Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae, with the Indonesian world No.1’s looking for a first All England title.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan are seeded third and are back for a third title in Birmingham, with ‘The Daddies’ taking on compatriots. Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan.

Second seeds Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik take on Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin, while fifth seeds Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi are up against home favourites Ben Lane and Sean Vendy.

And there’s an-all Indian clash between sixth seeds Satwiksairaj Ranikreddy and Chirag Shetty, and Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala.

Tickets for the 2023 YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships are on sale now. Click here to find out more.


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