PETALING JAYA: KL Open winner Chong Wei Feng believes that not playing in any tournaments since the World Championships in August is actually a blessing in disguise as he prepares for the Denmark and French Opens which start next week.
Except for world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying who competed in the Japan Open last month, most of the other Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) based players did not receive clearance to compete in tournaments.
The KL Open was the first tournament in a while for many of them and world No. 17 Wei Feng believes that it will help him perform better at the back-to-back Danish and French meets.
In particular, Wei Feng pointed out that the China players were all suffering from fatigue due to the tight schedules and the extra matches at the China League that they were involved in.
World No. 2 Chen Long was clearly a victim of too many matches as he went out in a shock defeat to unknown local player Kazuteru Kozai in the first round of the Japan Open.
“The China players are all tired. Besides the international tournaments such as the China Masters and Japan Open which we did not compete in, they also had their China League,” said Wei Feng.
“Thus it’s not impossible to beat them now. Especially since I’m fresher and I can draw some inspiration from Kazuteru’s feat over Chen Long.”
The Kedahan however has only given himself a realistic target of making the top eight in Denmark and France.
In the Danish meet, he meets World Championships semi-finalist Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the first round while he is up against Japan’s Sho Sasaki in the first round in Paris.
“It’s good to be realistic; to say that I’m looking to win in Europe might be pushing it,” said Wei Feng.
“Chong Wei will be competing in both tournaments and I have a very tough draw in Denmark.
“But I’m quite confident right now after winning the KL Open, even though it’s just a local tournament, and a quarter-final target should be within reach. Of course, if I go one step further it’ll be even better,” added the 26-year-old Wei Feng.
Besides Wei Feng and Chong Wei, the other singles shuttler who will make the trip to Europe will be Liew Daren, who is also the defending French Open champion.
Independent shuttlers Tan Chun Seang and Zulfadli Zulkiffli will also compete in Denmark, although both will start from the qualifiers.