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Marin has a tough opening round in Malaysia
Date: 1/6/2020 1:48 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The dawn of the new badminton season has arrived. 2020 as we all know is billed to be an exciting year for the sport, being an Olympic year. As we move into the new year, players will be looking to have a fresh start and build some momentum. The season commences with the BWF Super 500 Malaysia Masters tomorrow. 

In the men’s singles, fifth seeded Viktor Axelsen knows what it is like to taste success at this tournament in Kuala Lumpur, winning the title in 2018 and reaching the semi-finals last year. The draw has thrown-up a potential quarterfinal meeting with fourth seed Chen Long for the Dane, the very player who defeated him last year. 

Jan O Jorgensen will be facing Lin Dan in the opening round, with both in need of ranking points. In their marathon three-game encounter last year at the Japan Open, it was Jorgensen who came out on top. 

Long-time no see
Olympic champion Carolina Marin, although surging back up the rankings, remains unseeded coming into the Malaysia Masters. This is why we find ourselves with an opening-round match-up between Marin and the fourth seed, Akane Yamaguchi. 

Although both achieve regular appearances in the latter part of major tournaments, their last meeting was back in the quarterfinal of the 2018 All England Open, where Yamaguchi won in two games. Marin, a finalist here last year, will be focused on overcoming these tricky opening matchups in order to start being seeded once more. 

In the men’s doubles, both Danish pairs, who are duelling for Olympic qualification, have a challenging opening round. Mathias Boe and Mads Conrad-Petersen, who now hold the fourteenth spot in the race to Tokyo will face fifth seeds and world championship bronze medallists, Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto. Boe and Conrad-Petersen have a two to nothing head to head advantage from their matches in 2019, which will no doubt give them a lot of confidence in this third encounter. 

Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, who are six positions behind their compatriots in the Olympic qualification rankings, face China’s new look pair of Liu Cheng and Huang Kai Xiang. They met at the Fuzhou China Open last year, with the Danes coming up short in an up and down three-game match. 

For the full seeding list and draw, click here

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