Ratchanok likely to meet Phittayaporn

Ratchanok likely to meet Phittayaporn

Ratchanok Intanon in action during a tournament this year. (AFP photo)
Ratchanok Intanon in action during a tournament this year. (AFP photo)

World No.8 Ratchanok Intanon could face her Thai compatriot Phittayaporn Chaiwan in the second round of the world championships later this month.

The tournament, which features 363 players, will be held from Aug 22-28 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Japan.

Ratchanok, who won the world title in 2013, received a bye in the first round (last 64) of the women's singles, following yesterday's draw.

Phittayaporn will meet Taiwan's Pai Yu-po in the opening round.

Ratchanok, 27, is seeking her second title of the year, having won the Malaysia Open crown last month.

Also in her half of the draw are world No.2 Tai Tzu-ying from Taiwan, Japan's Nozomi Okuhara and Olympic champion Chen Yufei, who lost to the Thai in the Malaysia Open final.

The other two Thai women -- Pornpawee Chochuwong and Busanan Ongbamrungphan -- also received a bye in the opening round.

After surprisingly missing out on a medal at her home Olympics last year, 2021 world champion Akane Yamaguchi will seek redemption on home soil.

The likes of Spain's Carolina Marin, China's He Bingjiao, South Korea's An Se-Young and Commonwealth Games champion Pusarla V Sindhu of India will try and block her path to the final.

In the mixed doubles, Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai will defend the title.

They are the only Thais to have won a doubles title at the world championships.

China's Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, the mixed doubles champions in 2018 and 2019, are hot favourites, having won six straight tournaments.

In the men's singles, world No.1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark is on a 31-match winning streak this season.

He could meet home favourite Kento Momota in the final.

Singapore's Loh Kean Yew is the defending champion after defeating India's Srikanth Kidambi in the 2021 title match.

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