World No.1 Viktor Axelsen, who retired with a left hamstring strain at the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals in May, returns to action with the KAPAL API GROUP Indonesia Open 2023 after missing the last three HSBC BWF World Tour events.
Axelsen will attempt to become the first men’s singles player since Lee Chong Wei in 2011 to win a hat-trick of Indonesia Open titles. The Dane has an interesting first round opponent lined up – Weng Hong Yang, runner-up at the PERODUA Malaysia Masters just over a fortnight ago.
Another star returning to action after months away from competition will be Nozomi Okuhara, whose last event was the YONEX Swiss Open in March. Okuhara hasn’t made it past the first round in four of her five events this year, and will be hoping to break that bleak spell when she takes on Yeo Jia Min in the first round.
Meanwhile, hosts Indonesia had some bad news in men’s doubles, with two-time champions Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo withdrawing, with Fernaldi experiencing pain in his right heel. Another Indonesian to withdraw was Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, with a calf injury.
Indonesian hopes in men’s singles will ride on second seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, sixth seed Jonatan Christie and Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo. Ginting will hope to carry with him the form he showed last week in Singapore.
“Of course I’m excited,” said Ginting. “I’m trying to get back my focus after winning the Singapore Open on Sunday. I will try to enjoy every moment. I’m quite confident for the Indonesia Open this week, but I need to work hard, especially in the opening match. Of course every time I play I’m nervous, but I will try to enjoy every moment, from the preparation stage onwards.
“Hopefully I can play at a good level like in Singapore, but the situation is different from last week. I haven’t seen the draw yet; I only looked at my first opponent. In Istora you have to be calm, because there’s such a big crowd here, and if cannot control it, it will get difficult.”
The first session is scheduled to start on Tuesday at 9am.
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