January 9, 2023
The 2023 badminton season kicks off with two English doubles pairs in motion on the Petronas Malaysia Open on Tuesday.
Ben Lane and Sean Vendy ended 2022 at their highest world rating of thirteenth however face a tricky begin to the brand new 12 months after being drawn in opposition to world no.6-ranked pair Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi of China within the males’s doubles first spherical.
Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith can even face the principle opponents of their battle with the fifth seeds Jeong Na Eun and Kim Hye Jeong of South Korea within the girls’s doubles.
Lane and Vendy made their event debuts incomes a number of notable scalps in 2022, together with knocking out Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo en path to the quarter-finals of the World Championship.
The English duo are actually making ready to satisfy Liu and Ou, who received the BWF Tour Finals earlier than Christmas, for the primary time in Kuala Lumpur.
Victory may arrange a second-round conflict with residence favorites and reigning world champions Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, who had been memorably defeated by Lane and Vendy within the Commonwealth Video games semi-finals in Birmingham final summer season.
A repeat of the trick right here may result in a quarter-final with the Indian pair, and world quantity sevens, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith, in the meantime, confronted a disrupted finish to 2022 because the latter battled damage however completed on prime with a silver medal on the Welsh Worldwide Championships in December.
Each will likely be trying to enter 2023 totally match and hearth up their conflict with final 12 months’s semi-finalists Jeong and Kim within the first spherical in Malaysia.
The South Korean pair ended the 12 months ranked third on the earth after successful the Japan Open and Korea Open titles within the 2022 season.
A win for Smith and Birch may arrange a showdown with Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti, who’re the defending champions and knocked out Kim and Jeong for the title final 12 months.
Smith and Birch return to the event for the primary time since 2019, once they had been knocked out within the first spherical by quarter-finalists and three-time World Championship silver medalists Yuka Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota.
Each Lane and Vendy will intention to change into the primary English winners since Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms claimed the combined doubles title in 2002.