PETALING JAYA: Olympic champion Lin Dan of China is skipping the Denmark Open as well. And it is yet another opportunity for Lee Chong Wei to win his first title as the reigning world number one.
In the absence of Lin Dan, the Malaysian ace has failed to live up to his top billing in tournaments thus far.
Lin Dan has been out of competition since his rout of Chong Wei in the Olympic men’s singles final in August and flying the flag for China in the tournament in Odense from Oct 21-26 will be Bao Chunlai and Chen Jin.
Lin Dan’s decision not to defend the title presents Chong Wei the chance to extend his lead at the top of the rankings and also made amends for his losses in the Japan and Macau Opens.
The top seeded Chong Wei should have no trouble beating fellow Malaysians Sairol Amar Ayob and Mohd Hafiz Hashim in the first and second round respectively. And he is expected to play against Indonesia’s Simon Santoso in the quarter-finals.
If Chong Wei advances, there is a possible rematch of the Macau Open final against Indonesian Taufik Hidayat, who starts against Malaysian veteran Wong Choong Hann and has the third seeded Chunlai in his quarter of the draw.
In the women’s singles, Wong Mew Choo will find it tough from the second round as she is likely to face World Championships runner-up Wang Chen of Hong Kong.
Mew Choo, who is in the same half of the draw as world number one Xie Xingfang of China, will likely play against third seed Tine Rasmussen of Denmark if she advances to the quarter-finals.
The Malaysian men’s pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong will have to secure their first semi-finals appearance in the Super Series this season to get back among the top four in the world rankings.
The world number five, who retained the Macau Open title last Sunday, should clear the early rounds but can expect a tricky challenge in the form of Chinese scratch pair Cai Yun-Chen Xu in the quarter-finals.
It is tougher for Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Latif, who are seeking to regain their confidence after early round setbacks in their last two Super Series tournaments €” the Japan Open and China Masters.
They are in the same half as top seeds and world champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia and also have in their path another Chinese scratch pair, Guo Zhendong-He Hanbin, in the second round.
Women’s pair Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty are the fourth seeds and stand a good chance to reach the quarter-finals where they will probably play against China’s Pang Pang-Qing Tian.