Yonex Dutch Junior International

Badminton Nederland Badminton Europe Duinwijck

Let's get started!, 27-02-2024

Tomorrow we will start! We are very happy with the entries we have received. Over 300 players from 30 countries entered our tournament, with entries from all powerhouses in badminton! With 4 world junior ranking numbers 1 and 4 defending champions, the quality of entries is maybe better than ever, proving this is still one of the strongest junior tournaments in the world.

In Junior tournaments there are only 4 with the title Junior Grand Prix, the YONEX Dutch Junior, German Junior, Indonesian Junior and India Junior. You could compare them with the four Grand Slam tournaments in Tennis. Only the World Junior and Continental Championships offer more ranking points. Although it has been said that winning the YONEX Dutch Junior is more difficult because there is no limit to how many players a country can enter as there is in the World and Continental Junior championships. So we have for instance more Chinese, Korean, Indonesian and Thai players that have to be beaten for the titles. The YONEX Dutch Junior and German Junior (which are always played back-to-back to make it more worthwhile for the Asian players to make the trip) are the only 2 tournaments besides the World championships where the best Asian players meet the top European players.

It’s rare to see defending champions coming back to defend their titles in junior tournaments, but this year we have the defending champions in girls singles, boys doubles, and half of the girls and mixed doubles partnership coming back to defend their titles with new partners! But it will not be easy as there are a lot of strong opponents to beat!

In Junior badminton it is always hard to make predictions as there is a world ranking list to go by, but that list depends on players playing ranking tournaments. As there are more age groups, sometimes good players have no points in the U19 ranking, but they do have a good U17 rankings. In doubles we see some new pairs of good players whose former partner is too old to compete this year with players who played U17 last year and therefore have no U19 ranking. So their seeding might not reflect their real strength. That also means it is likely there are great matches from the first round, and it is not said that the seeded pairs have it “easy” until they meet the other seeded pairs.

But still, here is a little insight in what we can expect, and who we think you should look out for. But we also know, there will be a lot of surprises and great matches we have not predicted!

Men's singles

Starting with men’s singles, all the top 6 players in the world junior ranking have entered! With (at the time of entry) World Junior Ranking number 1, last year’s beaten finalist, Asian Junior champion and runner up at the World Junior Championships Zhe An Hu from China as the player to beat. Can Dutch player Adith Kartikeyan Priya as World Junior number 2 delight the home fans with good results? Looking forward to extend his winning ways will be Barath Latheesh from the United Arab Emirates, the new World Junior number 1 after winning the Hungarian Junior this month!

Also look out for Indonesian Moh. Zaki Ubaidillah, winner of the Indonesia Junior Grand prix, now mostly playing in senior tournaments. Malaysia will be hoping for Muhammad Faiq and Lee Toa Ong to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Lee Zii Jia, to become the 8th Malaysian winner of the YONEX Dutch Junior.

For Europe Denmark’s William Bøgebjerg as winner of the Danish Junior cup will be one to look out for, as well as Polish Mateusz Golas. And of course you can never underestimate the players from Japan and Korea, who don’t play as many ranking tournaments so the ranking doesn’t reflect their real strength. Which goes for all events played, not just men’s singles.

Women’s singles

For women’s singles the defending champion Kim Min Ji will be back to defend her title. It will be interesting to see who will challenge the runner up of the Asian junior championships. Last year’s winner of the German Junior Grand Prix, Xu Wen Jing from China, or the runner up of the India junior Grand Prix Ong Xin Yee from Malaysia will certainly be forces to reckon with. And maybe last year’s surprise semi-finalist Siti Zulaikha from Malaysia can show her good form again and do better this year.

For Europe Azkya Aliefa Ruhan da from Switzerland (winner of the Belgian junior and German Ruhr U19) and Kasja van Dalm from Denmark (winner of the Denmark Junior) will head the challenge. But don’t forget the French Malya Hareau who last year only played senior tournaments and the world junior championship.

Men’s doubles

The entries for the men’s doubles are mouthwateringly good. With all the top pairs in the world junior ranking participating it promises to be spectacular. Last year’s winners from Indonesia Anselmus Breagit Fredy Prasetya and Pulung Ramadhan will be back to defend their title. It will not be easy against the world number one pair Aaron Thai and Kang Khai Xing from Malaysia (last year semifinal), Dhev Ayyappan and Dhiren Ayyappan (last year semifinalist in both India and Indonesia Junior Grand Prix tournaments) from the United Arab Emirates and the new Chinese pairings of last year’s beaten finalists Chen Zhe Han (new partner Chen Yong Rui) and Lin Xiang Li (new partner (HuKe Yuan), with the latter winning the Korean Junior in a final against the other pair. Also look out for the Indian pair of Mohammad Arsh/Divyam Arora as the Indian pairs with their different playing style can cause surprises.

Women’s doubles

For women’s doubles last year’s winner Ririna Hiramoto from Japan will have a new partner, Aya Tamaki who is world junior champion with her former partner. That is very promising for this new partnership. They will have stiff competition from al lot of other pairs. First of all from the first seeds from France (who were seeded first last year also) Elsa Jacob and Camille Pognante who mainly play senior tournaments and hope that experience will help them beat the Asian junior players. Also back this year is the number two from last year, Yeon Seo Yeon from Korea this year playing with last year’s semi-finalist and singles winner Kim Ji Min. From Indonesia the pair of Isyana Syahari Meida and Rinjani Kwinara Nastine, winners of the Malaysia Junior and Malaysia International series, will also be a pair to look out for. Just as the Thai par of Sabrina Sophita Wedler and Naphachanok Utsanon, runners up in the India Junior Grand Prix, and beating the Japan pair of Hiramoto and Tamaki in the final of the Thailand BTY Junior International Serie.

There are a lot more interesting couples to look out for, for instance the Danish doubles of Maria Højlund Tommerup/Caroline Mouritsenn and Sophia Lemming/Cathrine Marie Wind (winners of this year’s Iceland International), Malaysians Carmen Ting/Tan Zhing Hui and Chinese pair Chen Fan Shu Tian/Liu Jia Yue. And with many more interesting couples, some without (many) ranking tournament results, it will certainly deliver some interesting matches from day one!

Mixed doubles

And then there is mixed doubles. Here we also have the world junior ranking number 1, and world junior champion Chinese Zhang Jia Han playing with a new partner Li Hong Ji (China). They will give the first seeded French pair of Tom Lalote Trescarte and Elsa Jacob, who -besides the world junior championships- only played senior tournaments after last year’s Dutch and German Junior (winning the Latvia International), a hard time. Also back this year is last year’s winner Yeon Seo Yeon from Korea with new partner Lee Hyeong Woo, and although her new partner has no ranking results, that doesn’t mean they will be a push-over.

As second seeds Anselmus Breagit Fredy Prasetya and Bernadine Anindaya Wardana from Indonesia (winners of the Malaysian Junior) will be aiming for the title this year after losing in the quarter final last year. But so will third seeded Thai pair Attawut Sreepeaw and Sabrina Sophita Wedler (runners up in the India Junior Grand Prix). Also look out for Indonesians Pulung Ramadhan and Rinjani Kwinara Nastine, runners up at the (senior) Thailand International Series, and the Japanese pair of Yuto Nakashiu and Aya Tamaki (winners of the Thailand - BTY Junior International series).

Where did players come from in 2023?