The Badminton World Federation, which decided to do away with the Super Series nomenclature and set up a tennis-like World Tour format, has announced its calendar for the newly created multi-level tour for the year 2018.
The BWF has split the World Tour into six levels including the World Tour Super 100, Super 300, Super 500, Super 750 and Super 1000. The World Tour Finals will be held in Guangzhou from December 12-16.
The Thailand Masters 2018 which began on Tuesday this week, is the first tournament of the BWF World Tour this year. The Thailand Masters is a BWF World Tour Super 300 event offering US$150,000 prize money, one of 11 such tournaments spread around the world.
This will be followed by three BWF World Tour Super 500 tournaments – in Malaysia, Indonesia and India.
Featuring six levels of tournaments, the BWF World Tour runs until 2021.
The BWF World Tour Finals will offer US$1.5 million as prize money. The BWF World Tour Super 1000 level boasts three million-dollar events to be held in China, England and Indonesia.
The Super 750 (with US$700,000 prize money) will have five events, seven for Super 500 (US$350,000 in prize money) and 11 events will be run as BWF World Tour Super 300 (US$150,000 in prize money) tournaments.
The only considerable break the players are going to get on tour will be in February where only one tournament — Swiss Open (Super 300) — has been slotted.
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The World Tour continues in Europe with the Yonex German Open (Super 300; 6-11 March); Yonex All England (Super 1000; 14-18 March); and the Orleans Masters (BWF Tour Super 100) at the end of the month. The latter is one of 11 events in the sixth level of the Tour and, while points from these events count in the Race to Guangzhou, they are not part of the BWF-HSBC sponsorship deal and are therefore named slightly differently. The rest of the tournaments are prefixed with the bank’s name.
The action shifts to Asia with the China Super 100 event (10-15 April), followed by two Super 300 events in Australia and New Zealand in early May.
The BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals (Grade 1) will be held in Bangkok (20-27 May). The Tour then moves to North America in June for the Yonex US Open (Super 300; 12-17 June) and Canada Open (Super 100; 19-24 June) before moving to Asia for a series of back-to-back tournaments in Malaysia (Super 750), Indonesia (Super 1000), Thailand (Super 500), Singapore (Super 500), Japan (Super 100), Russia (Super 100) and Vietnam (Super 100).
The BWF World Championships – a Grade 1 tournament – will be held in Nanjing (China) from 30 July to 5 August.
Top players will get a chance to take a break in August following the World Championships. The only Tour event that month is the Spanish Open (Super 300) from 28 August to 2 September.
September has five Tour events – Hyderabad (Super 100); Japan (Super 750); China (Super 1000); Indonesia (Super 100) and Korea (Super 500).
October will begin with the Chinese Taipei Open (Super 300), followed by the Dutch Open (Super 100); Denmark Open (Super 750); French Open (Super 750); Macau Open (Super 300) and Bitburger Masters (Super 100).
Five Tour events are scheduled for November – China Masters (Super 750); Hong Kong Open (Super 500); Scotland Open (Super 100); Syed Modi International (Super 300) and Korea Masters (Super 300).
The season closes with the US$1.5 million BWF World Tour Finals from 12- 16 December.
Source: BWF World Tour portal