It has been seven long months.
No tournaments since the YONEX All England in Birmingham, a period of training from home beforea return to the ‘new normal’ at the National Badminton Centre.
But now it is time to return to the international sporting stage as the DANISA Denmark Open takes place in Odense next week. With strict safety protocols and operating procedures in place, the health and safety of all players and participants has been at the centre of all planning.
With the action getting underway on Tuesday, England are sending a 20-strong squad to compete at the Super 750 level competition.
For nine of our players, this will be their first time playing at 750 level. They will not only be excited to return to court but to be playing against the world’s best players who will be raring to go after the long hiatus.
Following their successful journey to the YONEX All England semi-finals back in March, mixed doubles duo Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis are seeded second. They will be joined in the draw by Chris and Gabby Adcock, Greg Mairs and Viki Williams and Callum Hemming and Jess Pugh.
In the men’s doubles, Olympic bronze medallists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge are sixth seeds andwill be joined by some of England’s junior players transiting through the ranks.
Matt Clare and Max Flynn will face teammates Zach Russ and Steven Stallwood in the first round as they get their first taste of this level of event.
Ben Lane and Sean Vendy also join Rory Easton and Ethan Van Leeuwen in the men’s draw.
In the women’s doubles, fifth seeds Smith and Chloe Birch have a bye in the first round. Williams also plays a second event as she pairs up with Jenny Moore – a partnership who reached the main draw of the YONEX All England for the first time earlier this year.
Toby Penty faces fifth seed Kidambi Srikanth of India in his opening men’s singles match.
Competitive badminton is back and we cannot wait to see that first shuttle being hit!
You can view the full draw here.