NATIONAL singles coach Misbun Sidek is not jumping for joy that Lee Chong Wei has avoided meeting Lin Dan of China until the
semi-finals of the World Championships.
Instead, Misbun wants theWorld No 1 to be mindful of the potential pitfalls in the earlier r o u n d s.
ChongWei is expected to meet the inconsistent but talented Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the third round in Hyderabad next month and Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in the quar ter-finals.
Misbun doesn’t want Chong Wei, the top seed to take the duo for granted.
This is because Sony was the player who sent Chong Wei, also the top seed then, packing in the third round of the 2007 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur and the Indonesian went all the way to the final before losing to Lin Dan.
And Tien Minh turned the tables on Chong Wei in the first round of the Singapore Open last month.
Misbun said the two shuttlers will be inspired by their past victories when playing Chong Wei again.
“Avoiding Lin Dan in the last eight doesn’t mean Chong Wei has got an easy draw. Sony and Tien Minh have proved to be dangerous and Chong Wei cannot take them for granted,” said Misbun yesterday.
“They will try to beat Chong Wei and he must accept the challenge before looking fur ther.
“But based on preparation and conditioning, Chong Wei is heading in the right direction and the focus now will be more on tactics and strategies to overcome his opponents in Hyderabad.” Chong Wei has a relatively easy first round against Dieter Domke of Germany and is expected to meet Rajiv Ouseph of England before the likely clash against Tien Minh.
Lin Dan’s first test will be against compatriot Bao Chunlai in the third round before an expected quarter-final clash against third seed Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark.
But despite Misbun’s caution, the expected semi-final clash against Lin Dan will be the one that decides whether Chong Wei can be the nation’s first world champion.