TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023: Group Stage (14-18 May)
- Sunday 14 May 2023
10am: Group C – TPE v IND, Group D – KOR v FRA, Group C – MAS v AUS
5pm: Group D – JPN v ENG, Group A – DEN v SGP, Group A – CHN v EGY
- Monday 15 May 2023
10am: Group B – INA v CAN, Group B – THA v GER, Group C – TPE v AUS
5pm: Group C – MAS v IND, Group D – JPN v FRA, Group D – KOR v ENG
- Tuesday 16 May 2023
10am: Group B – INA v GER, THA v CAN
5pm: Group A – CHN v SGP, DEN v EGY
- Wednesday 17 May 2023
10am: Group C – MAS v TPE, IND v AUS
5pm: Group D – JPN v KOR, FRA v ENG
- Thursday 18 May 2023
10am: Group B – INA v THA, GER v CAN
5pm: Group A – CHN v DEN, SGP v EGY
DAILY SCHEDULE/RESULTS/LIVESCORE: https://bwf.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/matches.aspx?id=A8920452-3D1B-4964-ABD7-6AC0E6AC3CCC
GROUP STAGE DRAW:
Gold – China
Silver – Japan
Bronze – South Korea / Malaysia
BACK IN CHINA
Suzhou finally gets its chance to hold the Sudirman Cup after forgoing host status to Vantaa back in 2021 due to strict COVID restrictions in China at the time. 2023 edition of Sudirman Cup commences in a few days with China hoping to defend the trophy on home soil as the top seeds and favorite to win the tournament. This is also the first tournament most top players are playing that count towards Paris 2024 Olympic qualification. CHN occupies Group A and will likely easily win the group with DEN, SGP, and EGY all vying for the second spot. It is only in both men’s disciplines that CHN does not have a player/pair that are current/former WR#1 but still have a formidable MS squad in WR #10, #11, & #12 Shi YQ, Li SF, and Lu GZ respectively and also a competitive MD squad in WR #6 & #7 in Liu/Ou and Liang/Wang respectively.
Group B sees INA and THA fighting to win the group with GER and CAN looking to spoil. INA faltered at a close quarterfinal against MAS in Vantaa comes to Suzhou with a reenergized doubles squad with new top pairs in each discipline as new world #1s Alfian/Ardianto now leading the charge in MD, Rahayu coming in with new partner Ramadhanti in WD and Rivaldy/Mentari now taking the spot held by Jordan/Oktavianti back in 2021. THA also faltered in quarterfinal against KOR back in Vantaa now has WS ace Ratchanok Intanon back in the fold after missing the 2021 edition and Kunlavut Vitidsarn on the rise in MS now leading this discipling for THA. THA upsetting INA to win the group would depend on whether their relatively weaker MD and WD pairs can bring out their very best.
Group C seems to be the toughest and most exciting group despite not featuring any former finalists as MAS, TPE, and IND seem to all be capable of beating each other. MAS reached the semifinal in Vantaa where they lost to JPN and are looking to do just as well but it’s a question of whether their MS ace Lee ZJ, and MD world champions Chia/Soh can produce their best form as they did back in 2021 and whether Tan/Thinaah have overcome their injury/fitness issues in recent months. TPE MD Olympic Champions Lee/Wang and WS ace Tai TY both skipped Vantaa in 2021 that really diluted TPE’s 3/4 seeding back then but now help build a fuller squad for TPE with MS ace Chou TC. Small question about whether Wang CL has recovered from his thigh injury from Dubai two weeks ago and whether their WD and XD pairs can spring some surprises. IND has a tougher road to the knockouts as their MS have been faltering in form lately with WS ace Sindhu also struggling lately. MD Asian Champions Shetty/Rankireddy have to be at their best throughout the tournament for them to have a chance to progress as their top WD Pullela/Jolly haven’t shown good consistency yet and their XD being pretty non-existent in the top tiers at the moment.
Three-time finalist JPN has a tough road to clinch the title this time around. Yamaguchi, who has won two World Championship titles since then, was in fine form back in Vantaa winning all her matches in straight games even against then-freshly crowned Olympic Champion Chen YF. Momota has fallen down the rankings and missed the squad this time around as Naraoka now leads the charge in MS. JPN comes in with three solid WD pairs especially with freshly minted Asian Champions Fukushima/Hirota back in good form after missing most team tournaments since their Hirota’s injury but their top WD pair Matsuyama/Shida have been shaky as of late. Huge question mark as to whether Watanabe has fully recovered but JPN likely needs him to even have a shot at winning the trophy. KOR lost to CHN in 2021 semifinal but comes with a more solid squad as An SY now firmly occupies the WR#2 spot in WS and is in blazing hot form this year reaching all finals in all tournaments played. They also have a more solid selection of XD pairs to choose from compared to 2021 and have settled on their new MD and WD combinations though scratch pairs are still possible wild cards as always in team tournaments. Topping the group and beating JPN will give them a better chance at reaching the final and reclaiming the trophy they last won in that thrilling final on the Gold Coast in 2017.