Chris and Gabby Adcock will have to be at their best to make finals’ weekend of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships after Tuesday’s draw was announced for the sport’s oldest event.
The Adcocks, seeded sixth, open their home tournament against Indonesia’s Markis Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth when the $500,000 Superseries Premier tournament gets under way at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, next month.
The Adcocks are attempting to become the first home winners since Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms in 2005 - would be a repeat of October’s Yonex French Open final, when the Indonesians lifted the title in Paris.
In the men’s singles, England number one Rajiv Ouseph has been handed a tough draw against Korea’s Son Wan Ho, the third seed.
The pair’s only previous meeting came in 2010 when the Englishman beat Ho on his way to the US Open title in Los Angeles.
Chen Long, the top seed and world champion, will play a qualifier in his opening match, while Lin Dan, China’s Olympic champion, will face Hong Kong’s Wei Nan.
Dan, the five-time champion, is seeded to meet Kidambi Srikanth, India’s Commonwealth Games champion, in the last eight.
Fontaine Chapman, England women’s number one, faces fourth-seeded Sabrina Jaquet, of Switzerland, in the first round of qualifying.
If Chapman can come through her two qualifying matches, she will join Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour as the only British interest in the main draw.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Carolina Marin will aim to become the first non-Scandanavian or Asian player to lift the women’s singles title since Gillian Gilks in 1978.
The world champion and sixth seed starts her bid against India’s P. V. Sindhu.
English interest in the main men’s doubles draw falls on the shoulders of Matthew Nottingham and Harley Towler, who have been pitted against China’s Fu Haifeng and the experienced Zhang Nan.
Andrew Ellis and Peter Mills are seeded second in the qualifying draw.
Sophie Brown and Kate Robertshaw, the world number 75 pairing, face China’s number eight seeds, Bao Yixin and Tang Yuanting, in their first round of the women’s doubles.
Another new doubles pair, Heather Olver and Lauren Smith, also face a tricky route to the main draw.
They face French-Swiss pair, Audrey Fontaine and Jaquet, in the first round and will likely meet number four seeds, Indonesia’s Suci Rizky Andini and Maretha Dea Giovani for a place in the draw proper.
Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams face Isabel Herttrich and Birgit Michels in qualifying.
Meanwhile, four home pairs will be vying for a place alongside the Adcocks in the main mixed doubles draw, including Towler and Emily Westwood.
To view the full draw, please click here.
The YONEX All England will be played at the Birmingham’s refurbished Barclaycard Arena, running from 3-9 March.