So you play badminton, right? But do you know who the top players are to look out for in world tournaments and see what you can learn from their performances? Do.you even know many of our own national squad - we'll cover that later, but look at world players first...who have you heard of?Lin Dan? Cheng Long? or Viktor Axelsen?
Since we are fortunate to have a national squad player in our coaching team, we have asked Adam Hall to give us his suggestions on the best players for you to follow on the world badminton stage in each event. So here's the lowdown from Adam, who better to suggest than someone who experienced their games first hand and even played against some of them!
MENS SINGLES _ KENTO MOMOTA
Momota is the current Men's Singles Champion, All England Champion and Number 1 ranked player in the world, so this may look like the obvious choice. I picked Momota as my favourite player because of how easy he makes a difficult event look. His movement is smooth around the court which makes it look effortless and his quality of shot, especially around the net, is an amazing thing to watch. I would advise any budding singles players to watch him a lot!
WOMENS SINGLES - RATCHANOK INTANON
Intanon is the youngest person to win a world championship ( at only 18 years old) and is currently ranked 7 in the world. I love watching Intanon play. Her deception and shot quality at the back of the court is unbelievable! I have been lucky enough to watch her train on a couple of occasions and I cannot describe how deceptive her overhead shots really are!
MENS DOUBLES - HENDRA SETIWAN
Hendra Setiwan is my favourite Men's doubles player of all time. He has won everything there is to win and will go down as one of the best players of all time. He just never looks under pressure no matter what the occasion and his skill at the net is something I really try to emulate in my own game. I have been lucky enough to play him and his partner Mohamed Ashan at the Korean Open in 2016 and it was one of the best experiences in my career.
WOMENS DOUBLES - JAPAN
Japan are dominating women doubles at the moment and its hard to pick out a single person who is doing better than the rest. There are 4 Japanese pairs in the world top ten at the moment and its inevitable that one of these pairs will win most women doubles events. Japanese women doubles is known for its consistency and longevity, with games lasting well over an hour. These women train so hard, having watched them when I trained with the Japanese national team in 2016. Some may find womes doubles boring, but you can't help but appreciate how good they are at what they do.
MIXED DOUBLES - YUTA WATANABE
Watanabe is such a skillfull mixed doubles player. For an athlete who is quite small, he is just so explosive and almost seems to float around the court. He has one of the most consistent and deceptive stop drops in the world at the moment (which I am very jealous of as its probably my worst shot!). When playing with his partner Arisa Higashino, they have one of the best defences on the mixed tour and this helped them be the first Japanese pair to win the All England title last year.
Check it out here...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-HfFmgkPQ8
Now, go study!.....ADAM
(video links randomly selected by Natasha!)