SINGAPORE – Viktor Axelsen is the world champion, Olympic champion and men’s singles world No. 1, but there is still space in the Danish badminton superstar’s trophy cabinet for an elusive piece of silverware – the Singapore Open.
After skipping the event in 2022, citing a need to “rest and recharge”, the 29-year-old has confirmed his participation for the June 6-11 edition at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Axelsen played in seven Singapore Opens and reached the semi-finals in 2012 and 2019.
He said: “I love competing in Singapore – the fans are always fantastic. Unfortunately, I couldn’t compete in Singapore last year, but I’m looking forward to returning to Singapore and capturing my first Singapore Badminton Open title.”
Since winning in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Axelsen has been on a tear as he won six Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour titles, the World and European Championships en route to being crowned the 2022 BWF Male Player of the Year.
While his record 39-match winning streak was ended by Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew at the Denmark Open in October, Axelsen is already off to winning ways in 2023, claiming the Malaysia Open title in January and he will be looking to complete a Causeway double.
The Singapore Open was upgraded from Super 500 to a BWF World Tour Super 750 event in 2022.
Axelsen will headline what is expected to be the strongest field in the tournament’s history as all of the top 15 singles players and top 10 doubles pairs as of Nov 15, 2022 are set to feature.
A fearsome Thai contingent are also set to compete for a share of the US$850,000 (S$1.1 million) prize purse.
They include men’s singles world No. 7 and SEA Games champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn, women’s singles world No. 8 and 2016 Singapore Open champion Ratchanok Intanon, as well as defending mixed doubles champions and world No. 4 pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Puavaranukroh said: “Singapore has always been a happy hunting ground for us as we have already won in 2019 and 2022.”
Taerattanachai added: “This will be the most challenging edition of the tournament for us to win since the competition will be stronger than ever, now it is a Super 750 series event.”
Tickets are available via ticketmaster.sg and early-bird prices for season tickets range from $100 to $350 until Friday.
Up to 65 per cent of season tickets have been sold.