China Masters: Vitidsarn Faces Kidambi Test

There will be much curiosity around the form of Kunlavut Vitidsarn as the world champion begins his campaign at the LI-NING China Masters 2023 against Kidambi Srikanth.

Vitidsarn hit the high notes at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2023 in Copenhagen in August, but since then, has won only four matches in four events, while being unable to complete two matches due to a back injury. The Thai has already sealed his place at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2023 by virtue of being world champion, and has no pressure riding on his performance at the China Masters, which should give a good indication of his fitness and form.

The Thai has strong competition in his half, including the likes of Lee Zii Jia and Ng Tze Yong – who face off in the first round; Kenta Nishimoto, Asian Games champion Li Shi Feng and second seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

The big names missing at the top of the draw are Viktor Axelsen, who won the Kumamoto Masters Japan 2023 on Sunday, and French Open champion Jonatan Christie. The prominent first round matches of the top half will be Shi Yu Qi against Lakshya Sen, Anders Antonsen against Weng Hong Yang and HS Prannoy against Chou Tien Chen.

In a post on X, Axelsen blamed his foot injury for his decision to withdraw.

“A short update to let you know that I unfortunately won’t be participating in China Masters this week. Would’ve loved to play, but my foot is simply not ready to play consecutive weeks with many hard matches,” posted the world No.1.

Gregoria Mariska Tunjung

In women’s singles Kumamoto Masters champion Gregoria Mariska Tunjung is drawn in the same quarter as top seed An Se Young, but she will first have to get past names like Busanan Ongbamrunphan and Nozomi Okuhara.

Second seed Akane Yamaguchi has withdrawn, and the quarter could see a faceoff between fifth seed Carolina Marin and the in-form Aya Ohori.

Women’s singles defending champion Chen Yu Fei takes on compatriot Gao Fang Jie in the first round.

The only other defending champions in the draw are Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (women’s doubles), who face newbie Chinese pair Keng Shu Liang/Zhang Chi. Huang Dong Ping, who won the mixed doubles in 2019 with Wang Yi Lyu, is now with Feng Yan Zhe, and the third seeds are up against Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/Lisa Ayu Kusumawati.


Men’s Singles: Viktor Axelsen, Jonatan Christie, Ng Ka Long Angus

→Promoted: Su Li Yang, Lee Chia Hao, Kantaphon Wangcharoen

Women’s Singles: Pornpawee Chochuwong, Akane Yamaguchi, Beiwen Zhang

→Promoted: Kristin Kuuba, Yu Chien Hui, Lin Hsiang Ti

Men’s Doubles: Alexander Dunn/Adam Hall

→Promoted: Christo Popov/Toma Junior Popov

Women’s Doubles: Anna Cheong/Teo Mei Xing; Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand Pullela; Annie Xu/Kerry Xu

→Promoted: Sung Shuo Yun/Yu Chien Hui; Rutaparna Panda/Swetaparna Panda

Mixed Doubles: Vinson Chiu/Jenny Gai; Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue

→Promoted: Lee Jhe-Huei/Hsu Ya Ching; Koceila Mammeri/Tanina Violette Mammeri


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