Kento Momota, Viktor Axelsen draw on opposite sides in the 2021 All England

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Kento Momota (L), Viktor Axelsen placed on opposite sides of the 2021 All England draw. (photo: Getty Images)
Kento Momota (L), Viktor Axelsen placed on opposite sides of the 2021 All England draw. (photo: Getty Images)

Kuala Lumpur: World No. 1 Kento Momota got his chance to break the record he shared with Viktor Axelsen as each has won one All England once, Momota in 2019 and Axelsen in 2020, at the upcoming All England that will be held in Birmingham, from March 17, 2021, to March 21, 2021.

Momota, who is aiming to play his first international tournaments since surviving a fatal car crash in January last year, and needed surgery in February of 2020 to repair his fractured right eye socket, will target his comeback at All England after the German Open was canceled due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. He was seeded top and was drawn in the top half.

The 26-year-old Momota will open against Parupalli Kashyap of India, could face Daren Liew of Malaysia in the second round, and possibly Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia in the quarter-finals.

Axelsen, on the other hand, has been in sizzling form since winning the YONEX and Toyota Thailand Opens in January of 2021 and made the final of 2020 BWF Word Tour Finals before losing to compatriot Anders Antonsen. The Dane headed the draw in the bottom half as he will start against Koki Watanabe in the first round and could meet Anders Antonsen in the semi-finals.

Regardless, the draw has ensured both Momota and Axelsen couldn’t play each other at All England until the final.

World No. 1 men’s doubles pair, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia will return to competition in Birmingham after almost a year without playing. They last competed at the 2020 All England where they lost to Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe of Japan in the final.

In women’s singles, World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying has decided to skip All England since it doesn’t provide the Olympic qualifying points. This made Carolina Marin the top seed, and the Spaniard has a high chance of capturing her second All England title after winning the prestigious tournament in 2015.

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