Lee Yong Dae／Yoo Yeon Seong and Ahsan／Setiawan will go head to head in the first round
The draw has been made for the 2013 VICTOR China Open Super Series Premier that starts next week. A men’s doubles pair all eyes are on, the Korea’s Lee Yong Dae／Yoo Yeon Seong, will face Indonesia’s Ahsan／Setiawan in the first round. “World Badminton King” Lee Chong Wei will face Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen who won the Germany Grand Prix Gold last week. Last year’s women’s singles winner Li Xue Rui will face Japanese veteran Imabeppu Kaori.
Lee Yong Dae
The China Open is one of the big five BWF Premier tournaments and this year VICTOR is the named sponsor. The tournament’s prize money has increased to US$450,000, attracting more top players, with almost all the Chinese and Japanese players in the men’s and women’s single set to turn out. Even the first round matches will be exciting.
Lee Chong Wei, the world No.1 from Malaysia, will play Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen who is fresh from successfully defending his German Grand Prix Gold crown last week. Chou played below par in the first half of the year following an appendix operation but found his form in Germany to take his second German Grand Prix Gold title in a row.
China’s Badminton Queen Li Xue Rui beat Thailand’s young Ratchanok Intanon in the final last year, the skill of the young Thai player impressing everyone. Ratchanok Intanon has improved all round this year and actually won the women’s singles Badminton World Championships. If Li is to defend her title successfully, she has a tough obstacle to overcome another Thai player, Buranaprasertsuk Porntip took second place in the French Open in October and she will play eighth seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the first round.
The draw for the men’s doubles will certainly have left fans full of anticipation. Top pairs usually only meet each other in the final stage but in the China Open there is a clash of titans in the first round, when Lee Yong Dae／Yoo Yeon Seong and Ahsan／Setiawan meet. The two pairs have only met once before, at last month’s Denmark Open, and Lee／Yoo came out winners in straight games, a result that surprised many as they were playing in a tournament together for the first time. Last year’s champions Denmark’s Boe/Mogensen will play Malaysia’s Hoon Thien How／Tan Wee Kiong.
In the mixed doubles, the most fancied pair is London Olympic Games gold medalists Zhang Nan／Zhao Yun Lei and “Indonesian Lightning,”Ahmad／Natsir, who won at the Badminton World Championship this year. If there are no upsets these two pairs will fight it out in the final.
VICTOR STARS in the first round
Lee Chong Wei  (Malaysia) vs. Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei)
Suo Di (China) vs. Sung Ji Hyun  (Korea)
Porntip (Thailand) vs. Tai Tzu YIng  (Chinese Taipei)
Han Li (China) vs. Bae Youn Joo (Korea)
Ahsan／Setiawan  (Indonesia) vs. Lee Yong Dae／Yoo Yeon Seong (Korea)
Cai Yun／ChaiBiao (China) vs. Lee Sheng My／Tsai Chia Hsin  (Chinese Taipei)
Fernaldi／Kido (Indonesia) vs. Chen Hung Lin/Lu Chia Pin (Chinese Taipei)
Ko Sung Hyun／Shin Baek Choel (Korea) vs. Saeki Hiroyuki／Taohata Ryōta (Japan)
Kim Ha Na／Jung Kyung Eun  (Korea) vs. BYE
Cheng Wen Hsing／Hsieh Pei Chen (Chinese Taipei) vs. Grether／Reid (Canada)
Ko A Ra／Yoo Hae Won (Korea) vs. Bernadeth／Pradipta  (Indonesia)
Shin Seung-chan／Eom Hye Wo (Korea) vs. Aratama Misato／Taruno Megumi (Japan)
Jang Ye Na／Kim So Young (Korea) vs. Luo Ying／Luo Yu (China)
Ko Sung Hyun／Kim Ha Na (Korea) vs. Andrew Ellis／Lauren Smith (England)
Yoo Yeon Seong／Jang Ye Na (Korea) vs. Praveen Jordan／Vita Marissa  (Indonesia)
Kim Ki Jun／Kim So Young (Korea) vs. Ronald Alexander／Debby Susanto (Indonesia)
Lee Yong Dae／Shin Seung Chan (Korea) vs. Chen Zhuo Fu／Xia Huan (China)
Shin Baek Choel／Eom Hye Won (Korea) vs. Kristiansen／Houmann (Denmark)
Ahmad／Natsir  (Indonesia) vs. Liu Cheng／Bao Yi Xin (China)