Watch Legends Begin in March.

Popov goes for revenge in first YAE quarter-final on Day 4

Revenge is on the line for Christo Popov as he plays his first men’s singles quarter-final at a Super 1000 tournament on Day 4 of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2024.

Popov will face Japan’s Koki Watanabe, who beat his brother Toma Junior in the second round on Day 3.

France’s Popov is fourth on Court 1 in a day stacked with talent.

He said: “I’ll play my normal game against Koki. I would like to beat him even more because he beat my brother.

“But it’s going to be my normal match. It’s a great opportunity because when you look to the draw you have lots of really good players, Viktor [Axelsen] and Lee Zii Jia who performed well last year, so I need to get through tomorrow and try my best.”

The quarter-finals see seeds take on seeds for the first time but one of the most intriguing battles is between two unseeded men’s singles players as Lee Zii Jia and Lakshya Sen square off for the second time in Birmingham.

Lee of Malaysia beat Loh Kean Yew to advance while Lakshya Sen knocked out the fourth seed Anders Antonsen in a fiery affair.

The two met in 2022 when the Indian won in three games to make the final, ultimately losing to Axelsen.

Sen said: “For me, the All England is my dream and I have been in the final once. As of now, I want to take one match at a time and my only goal is to better my result from 2022.”

Other players well familiar with each other are Tai Tzu Ying and He Bing Jao who meet in the women’s singles quarter-finals.

Tai said: “This year alone I have played her two or three times now and I think her playing style is very flexible on court and she has a very speedy attack as well.

“So for me, I want to focus on every single point and I’m trying to make fewer mistakes as well.”

In the women’s doubles, Benyapa and Nuntakarn Aimsaard will also be clued up on their opponents after a night spent studying.

The Thai pair knocked out the Chinese fourth seeds Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning in the second round to set up a meeting with Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida.

Benyapa said: “Tonight our homework will be to study how our opponents play and we will try to defend the opponents’ strategy.”

Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei will face the defending champions Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia in the last eight of the men’s doubles.

The world No.10s came through a gruelling second-round encounter with the second seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang.

Wang said: “We don’t want to think too much about our next opponents.”

“Right now we’ll just relax!” Yang added.

Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino have a chance to make amends from the first time they met Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun of South Korea in Birmingham.

The two-time champions were forced to retire when the two met in the second round last year but are bidding for record their second career victory over Kim and Jeong on Friday.

Be part of All The Action at the All England. Tickets are still available at allenglandbadminton.com. Can’t be in Birmingham this week? You can still see badminton’s most prestigious tournament play out on BBC Sport and TNT Sports. Don’t miss a minute!


Go to Top