English players competing at the 114th YONEX All England Open next month now know their possible paths to glory after the Championship draw was revealed on Tuesday.
In the men’s doubles, Ben Lane and Sean Vendy have been handed a challenging start, taking on Malaysian’s Tan Kian Meng and Tan Wee Kiong.
Tan was formerly ranked number one in the world with former partner Goh V Shem and it will be an interesting opening match at the Utilita Arena Birmingham for Lane and Vendy.
They are in the same half of the draw as fellow English shuttlers Callum Hemming and Steven Stallwood who also have Malaysian opponents in the first round.
Hemming and Stallwood will be up against eighth seeds Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, who are fresh from winning a bronze medal at the 2021 BWF World Championships two months ago in Spain.
The draw means that should they both progress to the last eight, our English men’s doubles pairings would meet in the quarter-finals.
In the women’s doubles, Chloe Birch and Jessica Pugh will be flying the home flag and have managed to avoid a seeded team in the first round.
They have instead been handed a tie with Denmark duo Christine Busch and Amalie Schulz currently ranked 46th in the world.
Although there are no easy matches at the YONEX All England, this could give Birch and Pugh the platform to have a good run in Birmingham.
Should they win that one, they’ll be up against Japanese fourth seeds Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota or Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu in the last 16.
In the mixed doubles, the only English pair to be seeded at this year’s championship, Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, will take on Indonesian duo Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari.
Currently ranked 22nd in the world, the pair have strong pedigree after winning a gold medal at the 2017 World Junior Championships and bronze at the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.
Should they reach the semi-finals and match their achievement of 2020, Ellis and Smith may have to face Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, the world number ones and top seeds in the tournament.
In the other half of the draw are 2021 Scottish Open champions Callum Hemming and Jessica Pugh.
The pair will be up against the experienced Malaysian team of Ong Yew Sin, bronze medallist from the 2021 BWF World Championship men’s doubles, and Goh Liu Ying, who won a mixed doubles silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Should Hemming and Pugh navigate their opener, Chinese partnership Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong, seeded second, are likely to be waiting in round two.
The YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships return to Utilita Arena Birmingham with the best players from around the world from 16th – 20th March 2022.
Don’t miss out, get your tickets today.