Fans can set themselves for a week of electrifying badminton action from 6 to 11 June at the Karim Family Foundation (KFF) Singapore Badminton Open presented by JK Technology as the highly anticipated draw has been revealed.
Organised by the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), the KFF Singapore Badminton Open is a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 750 series event. With the participation of most of the top 15 singles players and top 10 doubles pairs, the tournament promises thrilling battles for the coveted titles and a share of the US$850,000 prize purse at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In the men’s singles category, world no. 1 Viktor Axelsen was scheduled to play and claim his fifth title of 2023. But on May 22 the Singapore Badminton Association received a formal withdrawal request from Badminton Denmark that, due to an injury that requires medical attention and rest, Axelsen will not be able to participate in the tournament.
In his absence, world no. 3 Kodai Naraoka will feature in the upper half of the draw, along with world no. 5 Chou Tien Chen and world no. 8 Jonatan Christie.
Local hero Loh Kean Yew (above) will ignite the crowd in the lower half of the draw as he faces Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu in a captivating opener. Their previous encounter at the Badminton Asian Championships saw Loh emerge victorious in straight sets (21-19, 21-19).
If Loh advances to the quarterfinals, he will seek redemption against Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn after falling short twice earlier in 2023 at the YONEX SUNRISE India Open and PETRONAS Malaysia Open.
The 2021 World Champion is looking forward to competing on home soil and said: “I’ll focus one match at a time as everyone is a challenge no matter whom I come up against at this year’s KFF Singapore Badminton Open. I hope I’ll be able to perform to the best of my ability in front of the home crowd.”
Loh’s journey will be a challenging one, as defending champion Anthony Sinisuka Ginting also features in the bottom half of the draw. Ginting may face formidable opponents such as Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia or two-time Singapore Badminton Open champion Kento Momota in his quest to retain the crown.
The women’s singles category promises a thrilling start with a captivating first-round match between world no. 1 Akane Yamaguchi and Olympic champion Pusarla V. Sindhu.
The winner of this high-stakes encounter looks set for a smooth path to the semi-finals, where the strongest competition awaits in the form of world no. 8 Ratchanok Intanon. However, the Thai’s performance in 2023 has been lacklustre, failing to progress beyond the quarterfinals in any tournament this year.
In the lower half of the draw, top local women’s shuttler Yeo Jia Min (above) faces a challenging task in her first-round match against higher-ranked Zhang Yi Man from China. Yeo has previously fallen short against Zhang in a thrilling three-set encounter (18-21, 21-13, 16-21).
Joining them in the lower half are three of the world’s top five players: South Korea’s An Se Young (2), Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying (3), and China’s He Bing Jiao (5).
The men’s doubles category sets the stage for epic clashes in the upper half of the draw.
Leading pairs from around the world, including world no. 1 Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto, defending champions Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin, Olympic champions Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, and BWF World Championships champions Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, will battle fiercely for a place in the finals.
In the women’s doubles, local pair Jin Yu Jia and Wong Jia Ying Crystal (above) will have a formidable challenge on hand in their first outing at the KFF Singapore Badminton Open as they’ll come up against defending champions and world no. 4 duo Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti.
In the mixed doubles, Singaporean pair Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han (below) seek redemption against Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Bøje after their narrow defeat in straight sets (21-19, 21-18) at the Sudirman Cup.
If they conquer their Danish opponents, they will likely face a tough test against defending champions and world no. 3 pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the subsequent round. Standing in the way of the ultimate victory in the upper half of the draw are the world’s top-ranked pair, Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong.
Bryan Long, Chairman of the KFF Singapore Badminton Open, expressed his excitement and said, “With the strongest ever field in the tournament’s history, fans can expect enthralling matches right from the start and witness the exceptional skills of these world-class athletes on our shores.’
“Beyond the on-court action, this year’s KFF Singapore Badminton Open will be a true family affair as we introduce a carnival for the first time. Ticket holders can enjoy game booths, be entertained by captivating stage performers, and even meet their badminton idols for autograph sessions throughout the week.”
In response to the overwhelming demand for tickets for the KFF Singapore Badminton Open, additional seats have been made available to accommodate the high level of interest. More tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster, with season ticket pricing ranging from S$120 to S$380 for season tickets.