OLYMPIC champion Lin Dan will make his return to international badminton at the China Open in Shanghai on Nov 18-23 and this does not augur well for Lee Chong Wei as he continues to bid for his first title as World No 1.
Lin Dan, the second seed, has been absent from tournaments since defeating Chong Wei in the Beijing Olympics singles final in August.
Chong Wei, who is under tremendous pressure to maintain his World No 1 ranking, has failed to stamp his dominance in three recent tournaments.
He failed at the final hurdle of the Japan and Macau Opens, losing to Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro and former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, respectively.
Realising that Lin Dan would soon make a return, the 26-year-old Malaysian skipped the Denmark Open two weeks ago, to prepare for the just concluded French Open.
However, it did not have the desired effect as Chong Wei was again denied by Taufik, this time in the semi-finals in Paris.
Lin Dan will not be his only rival as the China Open has attracted many top shuttlers.