Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has revealed the official draw for 2019 All England, and last year’s men’s singles champion Shi Yuqi of China will be looking to defend his title. The 22-year-old Chinese player claimed the 2018 crown when he beat Lin Dan in three-sets. And if the seeds hold, he’ll get Lin Dan again in the quarters this year.
According to the BWF regulations, all BWF World Tour Super 1000 and Super 750 events would not include the qualifying round. Since All England is a World Tour Super 1000 event, there will only be 32 entries assigned for each of the five categories.
Daren Liew became the only Malaysian men’s singles player who has qualified for All England on merit and will face Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand in the first round. Liew will face Shi Yuqi if he could make the second round.
The No. 2 seed Shi Yuqi will open against Anders Antonsen of Denmark who defeated World No. 1 Kento Momota in the 2019 Indonesia Masters final, while Lin Dan will take on Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the first round and could potentially face No. 5 seed Son Wan Ho of Korea next.
In women’s singles, 2018 champion World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying will meet Michelle Li of Canada in the first and is likely to face India’s Saina Nehwal in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, the No. 5 seed women’s singles player PV Sindhu who just signed a whopping USD $7 million deal with Li-Ning last week, will take on Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in the opening round. Sindhu is leading the head-to-head career meeting record against Sung with 8-6. Nevertheless, Sung was able to beat Sindhu two of their last three encounters.