PETALING JAYA: Malaysia have a shot at winning a double for the second time in the Danish Open but much will depend on the performances of flamboyant men's doubles shuttler Koo Kien Keat.
The Danish Open, which is the ninth leg of the Super Series, begins today in Odense and Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and men's singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei are Malaysia's best bets for titles.
Malaysia won a double in 2005 through Chong Wei and the men's pair of Chan Chong Ming-Kien Keat.
National chief coach Yap Kim Hock said that doubles coach Rexy Mainaky had put emphasis on a more attacking style of play.
“Kien Keat, especially, has been asked to go for quick kills instead of being too defensive. We want him to go for a straight forward attacking game. There is tendency for him to take a fanciful approach when playing defensively,” said Kim Hock. “If the necessary changes are made, Kien Keat-Boon Heong have a good chance to win the title.”
Stern test: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong will play as the world number one for the first time in the Danish Open starting Wednesday (Today).
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will be playing in the tournament as the world number one for the first time.
They have in their half a host of Indonesian pairs – top seeds and reigning world champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan, Japan Open runners-up Alven Yulianto-Luluk Hadiyanto, Hendra Gunawan-Joko Riyadi and Rian Sukmawan-Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who won the Macau Open recently, will take on Indonesian-born Hendri Kurniawan Saputra-Hendra Wijaya of Singapore in the first round.
Malaysia can also count on Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah to challenge strongly in Denmark.
The veteran pair have in their half second seeds Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, South Koreans Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae and Danes Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen.
In the men's singles, Malaysia will be represented by seven players – Chong Wei, Wong Choong Hann, Yeoh Kay Bin, Mohd Hafiz Hashim and club players Lee Tsuen Seng, Sairul Amar Ayob and Mohd Roslin Hashim.
If Chong Wei, who is now ranked second in the world, reaches the semi-finals, he is expected to play against Indonesian Taufik Hidayat. The top seeded Chinese Lin Dan is in the other half of the draw.
Chong Wei has beaten both Taufik and Lin Dan twice in a same tournament en route to winning the 2005 Malaysian Open and the Japan Open this year.