All England Open 2023: What is format of the badminton tournament?
The Super 1000 Series event begins on March 14.
The oldest badminton tournament in the world, the All England Open, is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. It is held in England every year at the Utilita Arena Birmingham. The tournament, in its 114th edition, will start on March 14 and go on till March 19, featuring as many as 155 matches.
History of the All England Open
Popularly known as All England, the tournament was first held in Horticultural Halls back in 1899. It has only been halted twice in its history during the first world war (1915-1919) and during the second world war (1940-1946).
The Badminton World Federation gave the tournament Super Series status back in 2007 which was upgraded to Super Series Premier or Super 1000 in 2011.
Format of the All England Open
In its basic, diluted format, it is a knock-out tournament with six rounds. The matches are distributed on four courts in the arena which will see plays from Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. According to the official website, the tournament will open directly to the main draw.
In the round of 32, 80 matches from all the segments will be held simultaneously in two days. The 40 winners will proceed to play in the round of 16s, which will be held on March 16.
The remaining 20 will go on to participate in the quarter-finals in two sessions on Friday. The semi-finals of All England Open are slated to be held on Saturday, March 18. There will be 10 matches in the semis and the winner will be crowned on Sunday, March 19.
Participants of the All England Open
As per the website, there are 52 players vying for the Men’s singles crown. Danish defending champion, Victor Axelsen will be the top seed going into the championship. Considered as one of the greatest of all time, the World No. 1 will go into the event as a strong favourite.
In the Women’s single segment, a total of 64 players will feature from 26 countries. Akane Yamaguchi is the defending champion of this segment. The 25-year-old Japanese shuttler will also come into the tournament with bags of confidence after her Malaysia Open win.
The Indonesian defending champion pair of Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana hit a rough patch in 2023 and lost their place to Fajar Alfian and Mohammed Rian Adrianto. They will be the top seed amongst the 51 pairs participating in the All England Open.
Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida will come in as the second seed of the 49 entries and they would love to pay back Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan for their walkover-loss in the India Open.
The mixed doubles will also be an eye-catching affair with Si Wei Zheng partnering up with Ya Qiong Huang fighting it out with the previous winners Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. There will be 59 pairs in the mix for the mixed doubles crown.
India, having not won in a single segment in the past 22 years, would depend on its current crop of shuttlers to deliver the goods. Can this exciting bunch of Lakshya Sen, PV Sindhu, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty bring glory back to the nation?