Starting on Wednesday 17 March, YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships. The most prestigious tournament in the world (first held in 1899) is being held for the 111th time and was considered an unofficial world championship until 1977.
Last year, the tournament was the last to be held before the break against the Corona pandemic. This year, most of the world's elite, including world champion Kento Momota, will be back, although the tournament does not count towards Olympic qualification. The players from China and Korea are missing, however, as they are not allowed to leave their home countries because of the pandemic.
From Switzerland, Sabrina Jaquet (BWF 47) is eligible to compete in Birmingham. She will meet Bulgarian Linda Zetchiri (BWF 64) in the first round. So far, the two have met a total of seven times - six of them with the better end for the Bulgarian.
The tournament will be broadcast live daily on www.bwf.tv only in Switzerland
Viktor Axelsen (DEN) and Carolina Marin (ESP) asserted their position as favourites and each won in two sets. Viktor beat the only 19-year-old Thai Kunlavut Vitidsarn (21-16/21-6) and Carolina the Indian Sindhu Pursala V. (21-12/21-5).
While the first sets were still relatively even, the second sets were a show of power.
For Viktor it was the second victory in Basel after 2014. In the men's doubles, the victory went to the slightly favoured Danes Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (21-16/21-11). Their two German opponents Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel produced too many own errors from halfway through the second set and could not turn the match around.
A surprise in the women's doubles. Not the two athletic Bulgarians Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva but the young pair from Malaysia prevailed (19-21/12-21). Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muratliharan may look like two 15-year-old teenagers, but they are already 20 and 22 years old and won their first major tournament as outsiders. It was the first ever victory by a Malaysian women's doubles team in the history of the Swiss Open.
In the Mixed, the French pair Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue continued their winning run. They already showed a top performance at the tournaments in Thailand in January, which they crowned in Basel with the final victory over the Danish pairing Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje ((21-19/21-19).
Although no spectators were allowed at the tournament, the matches were followed worldwide on the internet and on TV. Eight nations were represented in the five finals - more than ever before.
The next big tournament will take place in Birmingham in 10 days: the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships. Can Viktor defend his title from last year there?
Today, Sunday, the YONEX Swiss Open will see a dream final between reigning world champion Sindhu Pursala V. (IND) and current Olympic champion Carolina Marin (ESP). A rematch of the Rio 2016 final - with slight advantages for Sindhu, who needed 30 minutes less for her victory against Denmark's Blichfeldt in the semi-final than Carolina did against Thailand's Chochuwong.
The first final on Sunday will be contested from 11.00 a.m. in the mixed Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje (DEN) and Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue (FRA). Alexandra Boje has good memories of the St.Jakobshalle. She became European U15 singles and mixed champion here in 2014.
The next match will be played by the two sisters Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva from Bulgaria. They are the best European women's doubles and their opponents are from Asia, as is often the case. This time it's Pearly Tan/Muraliharan Thinaah from Malaysia.
In the third match on Sunday, Viktor Axelsen (DEN) will play 19-year-old Kunlavut Vitisarn from Thailand. For the Dane, success in tournaments in Switzerland is nothing new. Already in 2008 - as a 14-year-old - he won the individual tournament at the eight-nation tournament U15, held in the sports centre Kerenzerberg (photo). And he is the clear favourite in the final today.
In the men's doubles, the two Danes Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and the two Germans Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Seidel will face each other. Although the two Danes lead in the direct comparison with 6:1 - but the last encounter was lost a fortnight ago at the European Mixed Team Championships. Last but not least, the already mentioned dream final in the women's singles - world champion against Olympic champion. Great badminton in Basel. Enjoy watching at home.
Today, Saturday, the semi-finals begin at 11.00 a.m. in the St. Jakobshalle in Basel.
Three times it is Denmark against India.
Mia Blichfeldt challenges reigning world champion Sindhu Pusarla V. and in the men's event two former Swiss Open winners meet: Viktor Axelsen (winner 2014) and Srikanth Kidambi (winner 2015).
The Indian world champion has good memories of Switzerland: in 2011 she won the Swiss International in Bern-Belp as a 15-year-old (!) and two years ago she became world champion in Basel.
Und im Herrendoppel spielen Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen gegen Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty. Das spezielle dabei ist, dass die Inder seit kurzem mit Mathias Boe eine dänischen Ex-Weltnummer 1 als Trainer haben.
Only one men's doubles team from Germany made it to the semi-finals. Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel (BWF 19) will meet the Malaysians Aaron Chia/Wooi Yik Soh (BWF 9), the number one seed. Who will get important points for the Olympic qualification?
Today Friday is quarterfinal day in Basel. In the men's singles Viktor Axelsen (DEN) is the last European in the tableau - the other cracks come from India (3) Thailand (2) and one player each from Malaysia and Indonesia. Viktor's opponent is also from there: Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. He is currently number three in Indonesia and a serious opponent. Who will make it to the semifinals?
Directly ahead of them will be the match between current Olympic champion Carolina Marin (ESP) and Beiwen Zhang (USA). Half a year ago, the Spaniard won in three sets. And today?
The tournament begins at 2 p.m. and is live on swiss-sport.tv only in Switzerland
On the 2nd day of the tournament, the Swiss cracks were eliminated. Christian Kirchmayr and Sabrina Jaquet in the singles and the two doubles Yann Orteu/ Minh Quang Pham and Caroline Racloz/Jenjira Stadelmann showed good performances, but it was not enough to reach the second round.
The tournament favourites like Viktor Axelsen (DEN) or Carolina Marin (ESP) and Sindhu Pusarla (IND) had no problems in their opening matches. The official Yonex stringing service also showed a top performance so far. During the first three days, almost 300 rackets were strung. The stringing hardness varied between 13 and 16 kg - far too much for the normal badminton player. The players had the choice between several different strings. The following strings were requested most often: Aerobite/ BG 80 Power/ BG 80/ BG 65 Ti/ BG 66 Ultimax.
You can watch the tournament live on www.swiss-sport.tv The channel shows all matches from all four courts.
They narrowly won the first set, led 7:1 in the second - and still lost. The difference in class only then became visible and the German pairing of Jones Ralf Jansen/Kilasu Ostermeyer then showed their international class and clearly dominated the match in the end.
On Tuesday, more Swiss players will be in action at 09.00. There is livestreaming from all four courts.
Guess the number of nations represented in the five finals on Sunday 7 March.
Send the number of nations together with your telephone number by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and win a private training session or a sparring match with a top coach or top player of your choice. You can choose from Anthony Dumartheray/ Yverdon (umpteen times Swiss champion), Andrew Dabeka/ Zurich (Canadian top coach and participant in the Olympic Games), Azmy Qowimuramadhoni/ Bern (Indonesian top player), Caroline Racloz/ Lausanne (Swiss national player).
We are ready. On Friday, the tournament lighting, the hall floor and the courts were laid out, followed by the installation of the Yonex stringing service on Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday morning there is still the possibility to practice in the hall before the tournament starts on Tuesday afternoon.
In a few days the time has come - the Yonex Swiss Open 2021 will begin. Today, Friday, a special indoor floor and the competition and practice courts will be laid so that the players can already practice on Monday. The tournament is expected to start on Tuesday afternoon with the mixed.
Insgesamt 600 Badminton-Cracks aus 50 Nationen hatten sich angemeldet, ’nur› rund 250 werden am dem Turnier teilnehmen können. Der Anlass kann nur dank 100 Freiwilligen, die sich eine ganze Woche in den Turnier-Bubble (Hotel-Transport-Halle) begeben, stattfinden.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid protection measures, no spectators will be allowed to attend the event. There may be several hours of streaming TV on SRF on Friday, but certainly on the weekend, of the semi-finals and all the finals (each from 11 am). On Sunday with live commentary from the hall. The exact times can be found in the media and on the SwissOpen homepage (www.swissopen.com).