Yonex US Open Preview (Part 2 of 5)
Suffolk County Community College
by Kota Morikawa
The biggest news about this year’s US Open is Lee Chong Wei’s appearance. The tournament, June 16–21 at the Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York, is the first BWF’s Grand Prix Gold tournament since the Olympic race began May 4th. It is not only two-time Olympic Silver Medalist Lee Chong Wei who is competing in the six-day excitement, but also many other top world ranked players. This is Badminton Monthly’s US Open Preview Part 2 of 5 time series. World ranking number indicated in () is as of June 2.
Men’s Doubles Preview
Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa/Hiroyuki Endo (6) is the absolute favorite in Men’s Doubles. The pair has the most consistent performance in the BWF’s Superseries (SP) tournaments, but other top-ranked pairs also have consistent participation in SP and some have succeeded within semifinal finishes. A stunner might reside in them. There is a pair whom you don’t want to miss witnessing, a legendary duo from Malaysia, Tan Boon Heong/Koo Kien Keat. The former world #1 in 2010 hadn’t competed until the recent Australia Open SP last month since last year’s World Championships in Denmark as they lost in the second round. Koo announced his retirement early last year, and Tan has partnered with Thien How Hoon.
Favorite: Kenichi Hayakawa/Hiroyuki Endo, WR #6 (Japan)
The pair has been within top six in the world ranking for a while, performing very consistently in the Superseries tournaments. Their highlight is the second place finish in the French Open last year. Winning the US Open title may be a mandatory task for them.
2nd Choice: Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, WR #14 (Denmark)
The third best pair from Denmark won the Swedish Masters International Series early this year to start their 2015 campaign and finished third in the German Open GPG, beating higher-ranked pairs. They want to improve their world ranking within the top eight to get qualified for the Olympics behind Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, standing tall in the top of Denmark Men’s Doubles.
3rd Choice: Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Noriyasu Hirata, WR #13 (Japan)
The pair has performed consistently in the Superseries and Grand Prix Gold series, finishing several quarterfinals and placing third in the Japan Open (SP) last year.
Andrei Adistia/Hendra Aprida Gunawan (16) of Indonesia emerged to be in the world ranking within the top #20 in April for the first time since the pair was formed in the beginning of 2014. They have enjoyed two Grand Prix victories in the Chinese Taipei Open and Vietnam Open last year. Japanese pair Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (22) finished third in the Hong Kong Open Superseries last year and was the winner of 2013 US Open. Kenta Kazuno/Kazushi Yamada (19) of Japan is a rising Japanese pair who won two Grand Prix (Russia and Malaysia) and two International Series (Poland and Osaka) in the past year improving their ranking from in the 100s to number 20. Keep in mind, there is also Tan Boon Heong/Koo Kien Keat of Malaysia.