Malaysian Open first round not a problem but Chong Wei needs to be wary of what lies after
SHAH ALAM: Datuk Lee Chong Wei will not have it easy winning his sixth Malaysian Open Super Series title when this year’s edition of the tournament kicks off on Jan 19 at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil here.

RENEWED VIGOUR: Chong Wei in action against Park Sung Hwan of South Korea during their Super Series Masters men’s singles final in Johor Baharu, in this Dec 6, 2009 file photo. Chong Wei took just 38 minutes to beat Park 21-17, 21-17. — Bernama photo

The first round should not be a problem for the world’s top ranked men’s singles player as he will be facing England’s Rajiv Ousephbut the formidable Park Sung Hwan of South Korea stands in his way in the second round.

Should he get past Park, it is likely that he will face Chen Jin of China in the last eight and either Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia or another Chinese, Bao Chunlai, in the semis.

His arch-rival, world number two Lin Dan of China, however, is not expected to face any difficulty in making the final with his biggest obstacles being Simon Santoso of Indonesia or Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark.

National singles coach Rashid Sidek admitted as such.

“Nevertheless, I am still hoping Chong Wei will perform well to grab his sixth Malaysian Open title,” he told reporters after attending the draw for the tournament, which offers overall prize money of US$250,000 (RM846,250), here yesterday.

On injuries which Chong Wei experienced lately, Rashid said the Beijing Olympics silver medallist had recovered and was undergoing training as normal.

“He will also be taking part in the Korean Open which kicks off on Tuesday and I am certain he is fully prepared,” added Rashid.

Chong Wei won the Malaysian Open Super Series in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

As for the men’s doubles, Malaysia’s top pair Koo Kean Keat-Tan Boon Heong are not expected to face much difficulty in reaching the last four where they are likely to meet Indonesia pair Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan.

South Korean crack pair Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae on the other hand are expected to breeze into the final. — Bernama