Badminton: Singapore Open 2018 draws more than 280 shuttlers from 22 countries

Current world No. 35 Huang Yuxiang is one of the up-and-coming players who will be competing at the Singapore Badminton Open.
Current world No. 35 Huang Yuxiang is one of the up-and-coming players who will be competing at the Singapore Badminton Open.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - More than 280 players from 22 nations, including powerhouses such as China, Malaysia and Japan, will play in the July 17-22 Singapore Badminton Open at the Indoor Stadium, organisers announced on Thursday (June 7).

Registration for the Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 500 tournament closed on June 5, with top players such as men's singles world No. 7 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), men's singles world No. 10 Lin Dan and women's singles world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) giving Singapore a miss.

However, up-and-coming players such as China's men's singles world No. 35 Huang Yuxiang - who lost to Lin Dan at the All England Open semi-finals - and Japan's women's singles world No. 15 Sayaka Takahashi will feature at the Indoor Stadium, along with Malaysia's No. 2 men's singles player Daren Liew.

Earlier, the organisers also revealed the inclusions of shuttlers such as Indonesia's world No. 1 mixed doubles pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, Thailand's former women's singles world champion Ratchanok Intanon, as well as men's singles defending champion B. Sai Praneeth of India.

Praneeth told The Straits Times: "It is important to give a good show at the Singapore Open as I won the last time, and playing well in Singapore will give me more confidence for the World Championships (June 30-Aug 5)."

Twenty-three Singaporeans will also play in their home tournament, including men's singles player Loh Kean Yew, who played in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

Loh, 20, said: "The Singapore Badminton Open is always a special tournament for every Singapore national player, and we will definitely be motivated to play at our very best in front of our home fans."

Tickets for the Singapore Badminton Open are available now via Sportshub Tix and ApacTix.