ODENSE (Denmark): World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is not too perturbed by the fact that he has failed to defend his Denmark Open title and lost to Chen Long ... yet again.
Chong Wei, who celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday, simply couldn’t match the world No. 2 from China, losing 22-24, 19-21 on Sunday.
That was his seventh defeat to Chen Long in a total of 14 matches and it means that the Chinese ace has definitely cemented his place as Chong Wei’s main rival, especially with the prolonged absence of Lin Dan.
More importantly, that defeat was also Chong Wei’s second to Chen Long this year, having also received a beating in the All England final back in March.
But the two-time Olympic silver medallist believes that winning or losing in Super Series events is not a big concern at all.
“Honestly, I did not play too well against Chen Long and I made too many mistakes but I’m not too disappointed with the outcome actually,” said Chong Wei.
“It’s a tough year for players and we have so many tournaments and sometimes losing is part of the process as well. I can’t be winning every time can I?
“And to be honest, at my age, to be able to make the finals of Super Series events consistently is considered pretty good already.
“At least it shows that I am still physically fit and I’ll just have to do better in my next tournament - the French Open,” added Chong Wei.
The bigger concern after the Denmark Open however is the performance of men’s pair Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
Thien How-Wee Kiong, ranked No. 13 in the world, were just disappointing as they lost early in the second round to Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa without too much of a fight.
It is understandable to an extent to keep the equally under-performing Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong as a pair, given their world No. 5 ranking and the need for Malaysia to qualify for the Thomas Cup next year.
Thien How-Wee Kiong however have not shown too much progress and it really is rather pointless keeping them as a pair.
They however have a chance to do better in the French Open which starts on Tuesday as they might make it to the quarter-finals, at least following Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan’s decision to withdraw. The Indonesian pair were their projected second round opponents.
The world champions, who were beaten in the final of the Danish meet, are pulling out due to Ahsan’s shoulder injury.
As for Peng Soon-Liu Ying, the lack of communication and an edge on court is exposing them to be nothing more than average.
Peng Soon readily admits that they feel lost on court and just do not know what to do as they consistently fall to lower-ranked pairs.
That simply won’t do and perhaps it is time to review the world No. 5’s partnership.
Hopefully, there will be a better outcome in Paris, as it is just what these players need.