(Photo: Badminton Europe)
Excitement builds for players in Switzerland
Date: 3/1/2021 12:49 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Players have descended on Basel, Switzerland, for what is a much-awaited return to the court for many players. We look at some of the players thoroughly looking forward to hitting that first shuttle in the hall.

The Race to Tokyo Olympic qualification restarts with the 2021 Swiss Open taking place 2-7 March and the anticipation is high. 

Taking a look at Instagram, it is clear that the players are happy to be back in action.

Viktor Axelsen, winner of the Swiss Open in 2014 is happy after receiving his negative COVID-19 test result and stepped out of the hotel for some air.

-I am enjoying the nice weather hear in Basel, while we get ready for the first practice tomorrow at the stadium which I am very much looking forward to. 

While Axelsen has had the privilege to play some badminton this year, fellow Dane, Julie Dawall Jakobsen, the 2017 European Junior Champion is relieved to be playing again. 

-Finally back on tour again! Playing Swiss open this week. I have really been looking forward to playing tournaments again. 

England’s Lauren Smith, who narrowly lost the Swiss Open mixed doubles final in 2018 with her partner, Marcus Ellis, is raring to go. 

-Focused and ready to go! Negative test results are in, got some practice today before starting with the mixed tomorrow.

Thom Gicquel, who is fresh from Finland after winning a silver medal at the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships for France, is not looking to stop anytime soon. 

-Back on the road again with the return of the Olympic qualification!

The Stoevas sisters are back
The SaarLorLux Open champions and recently crowned Bulgarian national champions, Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva are looking for three out of three in Basel. In the 2018 Swiss Open final, they lost in a three-game marathon to Ayako Sakuramoto/ Yukiko Takahata. This time the number three seeds are confident. 

- First tournament of the year. Looking forward to being back-to-back champions!

Ruben Jille, who had an eventful but hard week as part of the Dutch team in Finland, is determined to get back to winning ways at the Swiss Open. 

-Tough week of training done! Heading to Basel.

Ben Lane, who returned from Thailand after featuring in the semifinal of the BWF World Tour Finals jested about his coaches on-court fashion while preparing for the all-important tournaments coming up. 

-Nathan [Robertson] still wears his headband all these years later. Back to training after our quarantine period. Getting ready for the upcoming tournaments, the Swiss and All England Open. 

Badminton Europe will be on-site reporting on the action every step of the way. 

To keep up to date with the news reports and post-match interviews from the Swiss Open, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
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