Defending champion Kento Momota heads into the World Badminton Federation World Badminton Championships as favourite to retain his crown in Basel, despite mixed fortunes throughout 2019.
Momota was the dominant force in the men's singles in Nanjing 12 months ago but he has been defeated twice by China's Shi Yuqi since, in Guangzhou at the end of 2018 and at the Sudirman Cup in May.
Yuqi is not competing at the Saint Jakobshalle in Basel after suffering an ankle injury last month but Momota will not have it all his own way in the Swiss city.
Indonesian duo Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie will expect to feature, while Indonesia Open winner Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei will be targeting the final at the end of the week.
China's Lin Dan scored a surprise victory at the Malaysia Open and will back himself for his sixth world title.
Earlier this month, Spain's defending women’s champion Carolina Marin pulled out of the World Championships after failing to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury in time.
In her absence, the door is open for last year's runner-up P V Sindhu, of India, to take the world title, but she will have fierce competition from compatriot Saina Nehwal, Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara and Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
Also expected to feature in the medal shake-up next weekend is Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, shocked in the quarter-finals last year.
China's Chen Yu Fei has won four tournaments this season and led China to Sudirman Cup glory in May.
Compatriots Si Wei Zheng and Ya Qiong Huang are expected to retain their mixed doubles title.
Japan boast the top three ranked sides in the women's doubles and have reigning champions Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara in their ranks.
Chinese pair Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan won the All England, Malaysia Open and Badminton Asia Championship titles this year and could challenge for gold.
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjana Sukamuljo will lead the Indonesian hopes for glory in the men's doubles, having won the Indonesian Open and Japan Open titles in 2019.
Their chief challengers are China’s Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen and Japanese pair Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.
The BWF World Badminton Championships are due to begin tomorrow and conclude next Sunday (August 25).