The Yonex All England (3-8 March) will signal the start of the MetLife BWF World Superseries season for 2015. The circuit, in previous years, began in January; the All England in March would usually be the third World Superseries event. The 2015 calendar however has seen a few tweaks, with the January-February break introduced from this year enabling elite players to recuperate, rest and refresh themselves before the hectic season ahead.
Not all players however stayed away from the courts. A few of the elite players, including India’s Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, Spain’s Carolina Marin, Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, and Denmark’s Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen and Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen, chose to participate in one of the two Grand Prix Gold events in January – the Yonex Sunrise Malaysia Masters and the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships – to kick-start their preparations for the year.
The hiatus is not the only change to which players, officials and fans will have to get accustomed to as there have been some changes in the sequence of events, though the World Superseries circuit remains at 12 tournaments.
The All England (featured image) will be followed by the Yonex-Sunrise India Open (24-29 March) and thereafter the Maybank Malaysia Open (31 March- 5 April) and the OUE Singapore Open from 7-12 April. The next World Superseries event will be the Australian Open slated for 26-31 May, followed by the Indonesia Open (2-7 June).
After a two-month gap in July and August, the World Superseries tour resumes with the Yonex Open Japan from 8-13 September.
That event will now be paired with the Korea Open – previously held in January – which is now rescheduled for 15-20 September. The Yonex Denmark Open (13-18 October) and the Yonex French Badminton Open (20-25 October) have retained their traditional back-to-back slots.
The last leg of the series consists of the China Open (10-15 November) and the Hong Kong Open Badminton Championships (17-22 November). The second edition of the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals will wrap up the World Superseries for 2015 but will be held a week earlier than 2014, with the season showdown scheduled for 9-13 December in the desert city.
The Level 3 tournament circuit (Grand Prix and Grand Prix Gold) will see a few additions, making the year a busy one for those knocking on the doors of the elite ranks. Twenty-two Level 3 tournaments – nine Grand Prix and 13 GPG – have been distributed evenly throughout the year, providing plenty of opportunities for upcoming players to break into the upper echelons.
The Grand Prix events are (in chronological order): Canada, Russia, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Dutch, Scottish, Rio, USA GP (new in 2014) and Mexico City. Meanwhile, the Grand Prix Gold events are (in chronological order): Malaysia Masters, Syed Modi India International (already conducted), German, Swiss, China Masters, New Zealand, US, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Bitburger, Korea Masters, Macau and Indonesian Masters. Fans will notice that the Thailand Open GPG, which was cancelled last season, is back while previous Grand Prix tournaments in New Zealand and Korea have been upgraded to Grand Prix Gold status.
Those participating in Level 4 events can expect to be in action through the year, with 35 International Challenge, 46 International Series and 10 Future Series events scheduled.
The two Major Events in 2015 are the BWF World Championships and the Sudirman Cup. While the Sudirman Cup is scheduled for 10-17 May in Dongguan, China, the World Championships are slated for 10-16 August in Jakarta, Indonesia. Lima, Peru, will host the BWF World Junior Championships from 4-15 November and Helsingborg, Sweden, will stage the BWF World Senior Championships from 20-26 September.