WORLD No 1 Lee Chong Wei, who avoided China’s top shuttlers in the All England, will face almost similar opposition for a second week running in the Swiss Open, while Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have a tricky path in Basel on March 10-15.
Chong Wei has Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand and Dane Peter Gade Christensen as obstacles in his path to the final of the All England which begins in Birmingham on Tuesday, and will have those familiar names in his way again in Basel.
But there is an additional threat in the shape of Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, whom the top seed will meet in the quarter-finals, instead of Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who he is expected to meet at the same stage in Birmingham.
Chong Wei begins his campaign in Basel against Japan’s Kenichi Tago before a showdown against Boonsak. Victory would pit him against Taufik before a semi-final clash with Christensen.
Should Chong Wei clear all the obstacles, second seed Lin Dan of China is likely to be his opponent in the final.
KLRC Berhad’s Lee Tsuen Seng and Sairul Amar Ayub, and former national player Wong Choong Hann are the other Malaysians who will see action in the Swiss Open.
Tsuen Seng opens accounts against Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong and is likely to meet Christensen in the second round while Sairul has the misfortune of meeting Christensen in the first round.
Choong Hann also has an uphill task as his first-round opponent is likely to be Indonesian No 3 Simon Santoso.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong should clear their first hurdle as they play compatriots Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen, while Indonesia’s Candra Wijaya-Joko Riyadi await them right after.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong then face a tricky time against China’s He Hanbin-Sun Junjie in the quarter-finals and the second seeds must treat the scratch pair seriously.
The semi-final battle is likely to be against compatriots Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari or China’s Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun, and a win will pit them against either top-seeded Danes Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen or another Danish pair Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen for the title.
Zakry-Fairuz must tread carefully against Japan’s No 1 Shintaro Ikeda-Shuichi Sakamoto in their first round match as a win will pit them against England’s Chris Adcock-Robert Blair.
The fifth seeded Malaysians, if they progress, should meet Haifeng-Cai Yun in the quarter-finals.