Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s World No. 29 Daren Liew planned to play more cautiously at the Malaysia national championships, trying to avoid re-aggravation of the injury he picked up during his upset victory over World No. 2 Shi Yuqi of China in the quarter-final of Malaysia Masters on January 18, 2019.
The 31-year-old decided to play the tournament even if he was still bothered by the injury, so that he could maintain his eligibility for the same tournament in 2020.
“I didn’t play last year’s tournament also due to an injury. But if I skip this year’s tournament, I will be barred from the 2020 edition, therefore, I have to play at this year’s tournament,” said the No. 2 seed Liew.
“Yes, I am recovering from my injury, but I haven’t resume my full training yet. That’s why I do not have high expectation to win the title,” added Liew.
“My priority is to take good care of my body sot that I can be in good shape for the All England (Mar 6, 2019 – Mar 10, 2019) and the Swiss Open (Mar 12, 2019 – Mar 17, 2019).”
Although the World No. 29 Liew was the second highest ranked Malaysian player in the BWF rankings, but he has yet to win the Malaysian national title with his best results were reaching the 2014 and 2017 semi-finals, losing to Lim Chi Wing on both editions.
However, Liew earned a chance to exact his revenge against the two-time Malaysian champion Lim Chi Wing this week as they could face each other in the last eight on Thursday. If he prevails, he could play No. 3 seed Soong Joo Ven in the semi-finals.
The No. 1 seed Lee Zii Jia, together with 2017 Asia Junior champion Leong Jun Hao and the 2012 winner Misbun Ramdan Misbun have been drawn into the upper half.