PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei will not compete in the French Open from Oct 23-28 as it too close to his wedding with Wong Mew Choo early next month.
It is believed that the 29-year-old Chong Wei and former national player Mew Choo will get married on Nov 10-11, thus his pullout from the French meet.
The withdrawals of his close friends and rivals – Lin Dan, Chen Long and Chen Jin of China and Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat – from the Paris meet have added credence to the wedding rumours.
Chong Wei, however, will still compete in the Denmark Open, from Oct 16-21. He is the top seed.
Despite the withdrawals of several top stars, the French Open will not be short on quality as Indonesian world No. 5 Simon Santoso has been given top billing, followed by Japan’s Sho Sasaki.
It has also presented the likes of Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren the chance to continue their improvement on the international stage.
The duo, who are also competing in the Danish meet, have a realistic chance to make at least the quarter-finals in Paris.
The 25-year-old Wei Feng will be up against a qualifier in the first round and a rematch against Japanese ace Kenichi Tago in the second.
Wei Feng beat Tago in the Japan Open last month and is high on confidence.
An upset over the fifth seed will see the Kedahan facing fourth seed Du Pengyu of China in the last eight.
Daren will take on Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen in the first round, with seventh seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong waiting for him in the next round.
The other singles shuttlers in the fray are Mohd Hafiz Hashim, a former All-England champion, and Tan Chun Seang.
In the men’s doubles, second seeds Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong could be in for another tricky ride as they are drawn to meet South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae in the quarter-finals.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who are still struggling for any sort of consistency and form, will face the same Korean pair in the first round of the Denmark meet.
If they reach the semi-finals, they are likely to meet another Korean pair – Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang, who beat them in the Malaysian Open earlier this year.
Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, meanwhile, should have an easy first round against Germany’s Peter Kaesbauer-Josche Zurwonne but should run into Danish top seeds Carsten Morgensen-Mathias Boe next.