In mixed doubles, there can be no all Korean or all Malaysian final as both countries find their best pairs in the same half of the draw. Malaysia's hopes rest on their current top 10 pair and Olympic medallists while Korea have swapped partners among their world #6 and #13 pairs.
Indonesia pose threats in both the seeded and unseeded camps. Current top 5 player and 2016 All England champion Debby Susanto is trying out a partnership with a former Superseries men's doubles star Ricky Karandasuwardi and will be tested as soon as the second round by the Rio silver medallists Goh Liu Ying / Chan Peng Soon.
The most anticipated quarter-final is fifth seeded recent world #1 Kim Ha Na with Choi Solgyu against the 2016 World Junior Champions Du Yue / He Jiting from China seeded second.
Japan are the top two seeds followed by world Junior Champions from China and Korea. But the ultimate winner may well turn out to be unseeded combination of current mixed doubles world #1 Huang Dongping and her latest partner, the tall and powerful Li Wenmei, who reached as far as the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Superseries in only their second outing.
Unseeded Superseries runner-up Kong Hee Yong of Korea partnering Kim Hye Rin lurks in the top half of the draw.
The showdown between Chinese third seeds Li Yinhui / Du Yue and Chae Yujung / Hye Jeong Kim in the second round is worth circling.
The star power of this year's tournament is provided by former world #1s from Korea and Malaysia Yoo Yeon Seong / Tan Boon Heong who are seeded sixth.
The top two seeds from Indonesia of Angriawan/Hardianto and Pangkaryanira/Santoso and Chinese fourth seeds Tan/He could be hard to beat as men's doubles particularly requires a well developed relationship in order to win tournaments.
With four of their players seeded in the draw, it looks highly likely that the men's singles crown will be defended by India.
Nevertheless top seeded top 10 player H.S. Prannoy has the most dangerous quarter to navigate out of his compatriots. He could encounter 2016 Singapore Superseries champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro at the second round and resurgent 2012 French Superseries champion Liew Daren from Malaysia at the quarters.
Second seeded compatriot Sai Praneeth B is on course for a quarter-final berth with 2017 New Zealand Open champion Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong.
Twice Australian Superseries champion Saina Nehwal returns as the top seed in 2018 and is fresh from taking gold less than a month earlier at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Her strongest rivals are second seeded 2014 Commonwealth gold medallist Michelle Li of Canada, and fourth seed Minatsu Mitani of Japan.
Nehwal's first major obstacle is likely to be 2017 Macau Grand Prix Gold champion Cai Yanyan of China and followed by Hong Kong's best player Cheung Ngan Yi.
The tournament will be broadcasted to more than 120 million homes globally.
Tickets to the Crown Group Australian Badminton Open start at just $15 with the 3-day platinum finals package at $160. Tickets can be purchased online at:
http://www.australianbadmintonopen.com.au/tickets with spots to watch the finals expected to sell out fast.
A limited number of corporate seats are available for public purchase. For corporate ticketing, contact Badminton Australia (03) 9397 4722.