Credit: Badminton Photo
European pairs gunning for glory at the World Tour Finals
Date: 12/11/2018 2:20 PM
Published by : Tom Hazlewood
The HSBC BWF World Tour Finals gets underway on Wednesday, with the top eight ranked players and pairs looking to earn the right of being called the best of the best. 

The world’s best badminton players have been competing all year round to earn themselves a ticket to the tournament in Guangzhou, and a chance of winning themselves something from the $1.5 million prize pool. 

The Danish pair, Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, are the only Danish representatives at the tournament.

Danes looking to make an impact in China

The pair confirmed their place in the Guangzhou after competing in the Syed Modi International at the end of November, and is looking forward to the tournament.

- It feels amazing, we have fought for one year and have had the best season of our career so far and we are looking forward to playing in China, Astrup told Badminton Europe.

A high level 

The Danes are coming off an impressive year after winning the European Championships back in June, and are hoping that will give them confidence coming into another major event like this. 

- We have played at a high level this season with the European Championship and winning the China Open Super 1000. We know we can play at a high level, so hopefully we can reach that level in the Finals as well, Astrup said.

Strong opponents 

They know they have got some strong opposition in Guangzhou, especially in eight times World Tour Finals winners, Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, but they are hoping to take their chance in China.  

- We will have to play at our best every match if we want to stand a chance against seven other very strong pairs but we will take it one match at a time and see how far we can get, Astrup said. 

Other European hopes

There are only two other European pairs to have made it to the finals in Guangzhou. England’s Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis will represent the continent in the Mixed Doubles. 

The world's number 14 edged their way to the finals, after their victory at the Scottish Open last week and will be hoping to add to their impressive display with a strong showing here. 

They come into this as huge underdogs with them being the lowest ranked pair in the tournament, but will be desperate to repeat the feats of their compatriots Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, who won the World Finals back in 2015. 

Bulgaria’s Stoeva Sisters have also qualified in the Women’s Doubles after their impressive 2018

The Bulgarians qualified for the finals after back to back Super 100 wins at the SaarLorLux Open and then the Scottish Open so come into this tournament in good form. 

Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva have now won six tournaments in 2018 and will be hoping to round out the year with one more victory in China.  

See the full draw and seeding’s for the event here
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