Lee Chong Wei, Kidambi Srikanth in same half of Asia Championships draw

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Lee Chong Wei faces stiff challenge from Kidambi Srikanth at Asia Championships. (photo: AP)
Lee Chong Wei faces stiff challenge from Kidambi Srikanth at Asia Championships. (photo: AP)

Wuhan: Two former World No. 1 players, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysian and Kidambi Srikanth of India have been drawn in the same half of the 2018 Asia Championships, as Lin Dan, joined Chen Long in a star-studded bottom half of the men’s singles draw.

Two-time former champion Lee Chong Wei could meet Kidambi Srikanth, whom he recently defeated at the Commonwealth Games men’s singles final in the quarter-finals prior to a possible semi-final showdown against No. 4 seeds Shi Yuqi of China, who is bidding to capture his first Asia Championships crown.

Lin Dan, who won the Asia title four times, could potentially meet compatriot and reigning champion Chen Long in the semi-finals. The 35-year-old Lin who proved he still have enough gas left in the tank, would try to keep the men’s singles title on home soil and to gain a big confidence boost ahead of Thomas Cup Finals.

With the withdrawal of the World No. 1 men’s pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia, the defending champions Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen alongside another home pair Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan are likely to set up an all-Chinese final on Sunday.

In the women’s singles, top seed and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei was drawn to face qualifier Jeon Jui of Korea in the first round and could face either Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand or PV Sindhu of India in the final.

The Rio Olympic women’s doubles champions Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan and No. 1 seeds Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan of China were placed in opposite halves of the draw and could clash with each other for the women’s crown.

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