England number one Rajiv Ouseph returns to scene of his highest profile international tour title win this week when he contends the Yonex US Open Super 300 this week.
Ouseph, seeded five for 2019, was crowned champion at the then Grand Prix Gold event in 2010; a result which he dubbed 'the biggest win of his career' and saw him climb into the world top 20 for the very first time.
Now 37th in the world, Ouseph has since bettered that world ranking after a quarter final at the Rio 2016 Olympics saw him enter the world top 10 but ultimately, despite a further nine finals and six titles on the international circuit, the US Open title remains his highest accolade, albeit his historic 2017 European gold ranks higher away from the tour.
Ouseph almost repeated his US Open trick four years ago when he was a finalist again, only to be denied by the experience of South Korean legend Lee Hyun-il.
Tomorrow, just like nine years ago when Brice Leverdez was his match in the final, Ouseph faces French opposition in the form of Lucas Corvee.
The French eighth seed has never beaten Ouseph on the world tour in their three meetings since a first outing at the 2016 Europeans and a fourth win for the Englishman could lead him into back to back fixtures with European rivals with both Kai Schaeffer and last year’s beaten finalist Mark Caljouw in his end of the draw.
Ouseph doesn’t carry a lone English charge in America. Toby Penty, fresh from an impressive outing on his Team GB debut at the European Games, opens his own singles mission against India’s Sourabh Verma.
Reigning national champions Ben Lane and Jess Pugh are seeded three and face the home talents of Ryan Chew and Sydney Lee in their mixed doubles opener whilst the new pairing of Callum Hemming and Jenny Moore are drawn against Chinese Taipei duo Lee Yang and Yang Ching Tun.
Ben Lane and Sean Vendy will also contend the men’s doubles but will have to wait to know the identity of their opponents who will come out of qualifying rounds. An all-British second round tie with Adam Hall and Alex Dunn could be on the cards if the Scots can see off seeded opposition.