Nanjing 2018 World Badminton Championships - Predictions and Picks

Who will win the 2018 World Badminton Championships in Nanjing, China? This is the most important annual championship on the badminton calendar. Our research staff offers previews, analysis and predictions. The 2018 BWF World Championships are scheduled for July 30 through August 5 at Najing Olympic Sports Centre.

Trends 

⦿ Chinese male shuttlers have won nine of the last ten badminton world championships. The lone exception was last year when Denmark's Viktor Axelsen defeated the legendary Lin Dan for his first world title. The man to beat this year is undoubtedly Japan's Kento Momota, who has taken the badminton world by storm since returning from banishment due to illegal gambling. In the past three months, he has beaten current and former no. 1 players in Axelsen, Chen Long, Lee Chong Wei and Kidambi Srikanth. Only Lee has been able to hold his own against the Japanese star, but it gets increasingly difficult for him to compete if the match is stretched to a third set.

Winner: Kento Momota

⦿ Like Kento Momota in the men's side, top ranked Tai Tzu-ying is the top favorite to win her first world title. The Taiwanese star has been hardly beaten over the past year. However, we notice that she tends to struggle more against taller players from Europe and India. Since China is the host of this year's championship, it won't be easy for Tai to beat her Chinese opponent if the match is stretched to a third set. She has been given a fair draw with He Bingjiao, Carolina Marin and Rachanok Intanon in her half. Tai's worst possible scenario would be to meet He Bingjiao in the quarters and Carolina Marin in the semis.

Winner: Carolina Marin

⦿ Since the beginning of May, Japanese shuttlers have won nearly every event in women's doubles they seriously competed in. They seem to have overcome the China's syndrome that had plagued them in the past. The Japanese are beating their Chinese counterparts with regularity this season, which is a vast improvement from days of old. The hosts did receive help from a forgiving draw, which eliminates a potentially embarrassing all-Japanese Final Four. Still, the Chinese top team of Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan will likely meet the reigning Olympic champions in the semifinal and another top Japanese team in the final. Given their current form, beating two top Japanese teams in a row won't be an easy task.

Winner: Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara

⦿ Men's Doubles is one of two events where host China could pick up a win. The Chinese have four solid teams in the draw including two of the world's highest ranked teams. Unfortunately, their top two teams are in the same half. This helps to ease the path to the final for the top-ranked Indonesian team of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.

Winner: Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen

⦿ With the dominant Indonesian pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir off to retirement, China is set to dominate mixed doubles. All of the Chinese teams are seeded including the top two seeds. Moreover, these four teams are evenly spread out in the draw. It's hard to see China not winning this event given such an advantage. The one team the Chinese need to be in the lookout for is the Japanese duo of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. Although this is a young team, they stunned the world with victory at the All-England Open beating two top Chinese teams back to back.

Winner: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong

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