(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Preview: Mixed Doubles
Date: 1/9/2021 1:19 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
All eyes are on Thailand this month as we will be treated to three high-level tournaments in a row. Here is what we can look forward to in the mixed doubles. 

The mixed doubles category will have a particularly strong local interest. A tournament of this scale taking place in Bangkok is naturally capturing headlines in the country, but the mixed doubles holds the best chance of a Thai title win with the number one seeds, Dechapol Puavaranukroh / Sapsiree Taerattanachai. 

Despite the European Games women’s doubles gold medallist, Selena Piek, not featuring in that category, the mixed doubles with Robin Tabeling will be her primary focus. They will face France's Eloi Adam/ Margot Lambert.

If successful, the Malaysian fifth seeds, Chan Peng Soon/ Goh Liu Ying, may be awaiting them. They have a 1-1 head-to-head with the Olympic silver medallists and having defeated the world number one pair, Zheng Si Wei/ Huang Ya Qiong, at the All England Open last year, they have every reason to be optimistic about taking the ‘decider’. 

Top two in Europe
In recent years, the undisputed top two mixed doubles pairs in Europe hail from England. In an ideal world, Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith and Chris Adcock/ Gabrielle Adcock, the number nine and 13 in the world respectively, would both slip into the world top eight, meaning a double Olympic qualification for Team GB. 

In Thailand, the Adcocks will not feature, with Australians Oliver Leyden-Davis/ Anona Pak taking their place to face Chang Tak Ching/ Ng Wing Yung. 

The winner faces number six seeds, Hafiz Faizal/ Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja. 

The European Games gold medallists and seventh seeds, Ellis/ Smith, have a simpler task in Germany’s Jones Ralfy Jansen/ Kilasu Ostermeyer, having just played three months ago at the Denmark Open. It was a swift two-game victory then. 

From Odense to Bangkok
Since their strong title-winning performance at the Denmark Open, Mark Lamsfuss/ Isabel Herttrich followed up with a runner-up finish at the SaarLorLux Open. The German’s showed that they can topple the best pairs in Europe and would like to demonstrate this level also on the big stage. Their opener will be against Canada’s Joshua Hurlburt-Yu/ Josephine Wu, whom they defeated at the 2019 Sudirman Cup. 

If successful in repeating this result, a potential second-round opponent will be the 2018 World Championship bronze medallists, Tang Chun Man/ Tse Ying Suet. 

Big hitters
A tough opening round is in the pipeline for Russia’s Rodion Alimov/ Alina Davletova, who face Korea’s former world number one Ko Sung Hyun with Eom Hye Won. Both Ko and Alimov have a reputation of being big hitters from the back. It will be quite a spectacle. 

Another famously strong rear court player, Praveen Jordan, partners the dominant net player of Melati Oktavianti as second seeds. The All England Champions face Denmark’s Niclas Nohr in the opener and are one of the favourites to take the title. 

The tournament will take place 12-17 January 2021. 

For the full draw and fixtures, click here

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