The match ups for this year’s YONEX OPEN JAPAN were announced on August 19th with all eyes on men’s singles. One of the tournament’s biggest names is getting his start in the qualifiers—five-time YONEX OPEN JAPAN champion Lee Chong Wei. Provided he wins his way into the main draw, the Malaysian national hero will meet Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the first round. These two veterans both have Superseries titles under their belts which should prove for a heated match right from the very first round. But Chong Wei’s road to a sixth YONEX OPEN JAPAN title promises more explosive matchups.

A potential matchup with Lin Dan awaits Chong Wei in the second round, with Chen Long waiting in the third—this tournament’s quarterfinal. Lin Dan is a two-time Olympic medallist and five-time world champion, with Chen Long just earning his second BWF World Championships gold medal, and also winning at this tournament in 2011. They are no doubt strong rivals for the Malaysian shuttler, who has more losses against them than wins. Huge matchups like these only occur in the finals of most tournaments, but this year’s YONEX OPEN JAPAN is predicted to have a series of heated matches through to the semifinal.

Former World No. 3 Kenichi Tago from Japan will be competing from the qualifying rounds for the first time in eight years. If the local shuttler can make it into the main draw, he faces No. 2 seed Jan O. Jorgensen. The two met in the finals for both the 2013 Yonex French Open and 2014 Indonesia Open, with the Dane coming out on top in both encounters. However, with Chen Long, Lin Dan and Chong Wei on the other side of the draw, if Kenichi can get past Jan, he has a good shot at making it into the final.

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