Jakarta: The 2015 World Championships draw is out, Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei could meet for the first time in slightly less than a year in the semifinals. Lin Dan defeated Lee Chong Wei 22-20, 12-21, 21-9 in the semi-finals of 2014 Incheon Asian Games last September. Lin Dan, a five-time champion, and Lee Chong Wei, a former world No. 1, were drawn into the bottom half of the bracket.
Defending champion and No. 1 Chen Long drew No. 4 Kento Momota in the top half, meaning the two could meet in the semifinals in a rematch of the Malaysian Open quarter-final, which Chen won with 21-16, 21-11.
The former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei will open the tournament with a match against Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania. Lee will probably face Marc Zwiebler of Germany in the second round, and he’s eyeing a possible quarterfinals match with No. 8 seed Wang Zhengming of China, who he beat in the 3rd round of Chinese Taipei Open two weeks ago. Lee will have to take care of either Hu Yun of Hong Kong or Kidambi Srikanth of India in the quarter-final before he earn a semifinal berth.
The five-time world champion Lin Dan is set to face Sattawat Pongnairat of USA in the first round. Lin may meet Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in the third round, and will play either No. 9 seed Son Wan Ho of Korea or No. 2 seed Jan O Jorgensen in the quarter-final.
If Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan could resume their rivalry in the World Championships semifinals, the match would indeed become the tournament’s blockbuster.
Women’s singles defending champion Carolina Marin who was suffering a broken 5th metatarsal, has been training hard to get back in shape and ready to put together a strong showing on badminton’s grandest stage. She was ranked the No. 1 seed, but she is going to face tough draw to contend with as she aims to make it two out of two at World Championships. The Spaniard has a first round bye, and most likely opens her campaign against Malaysian Tee Jing Yi in the second round. She could face No.7 seed Wang Shixian of China in the quarter-finals, and No. 3 seed Li Xuerui of China in the semi-finals.
At the bottom half of the women’s singles, India’s Saina Nehwal could face No. 6 seed Wang Yihan of China in the quarter-finals before a potential semi-finals round clash against either No.4 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan, or No. 5 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
In men’s doubles, Malaysian pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong faces reigning world champions Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Choel of Korea in the second round, and Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan will likely await the winners between the Malaysian pair and Korean pair in the third round.
No. 1 men’s doubles pair Lee Yong-Dae/Yoo Yeon-Seong is set to set up potential matchups with compatriots Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang in last 16 and possibly Zhang Nan/Fu Haifeng in the quarters.
If men’s doubles No. 3 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia hope to win the championship, they will have to go through Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark in the 3rd round and a meeting with Lee Yong-Dae/Yoo Yeon-Seong in the semi-finals.
No. 12 seeds Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei of Malaysia are projected to play No. 2 seeds Luo Ying/Luo Yu of China in the third round of women’s doubles and either No. 8 Reika Kakiiwa/Miyuki Maeda of Japan or No. 13 seeds Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa of India in quarter-finals.
Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying who were rewarded last-minute tickets for the world meet, will open their campaign against Howard Shu/Eva Lee of USA. They will take on the 2015 Australian Open champions Reginald Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong in the second round, with a potential third round meeting with 3rd-seeded Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia.