Kuala Lumpur: The biggest question entering 2019 China Open was how far can the two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China progress as he was drawn to meet World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the first round.
China Open offered a total USD$1,000,000 in prize money and will be held in Changzhou, China, from September 17th to September 22th. The last time both of them met was in the 2018 Hong Kong Open first round, where Momota defeated Lin 21-19, 12-21, 21-15.
In addition to Lin, Rio Olympic gold medalist Chen Long also has a tough draw ahead of him, with Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia who defeated Chen in the 2019 Indonesia Open second round on July 18, 2019 awaiting for Chen also in the first round.
Nozomi Okuhara who finished runner-up at last week’s World Championships, will set up a blockbuster women’s singles first round clash with Carolina Marin of Spain who will make her return after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament during the Indonesia Masters final against India’s Saina Nehwal on Jan 27, 2019.
Reigning women’s singles World Champion PV Sindhu also faces a challenging draw at China Open as she will open against China’s London Olympic Champion Li Xuerui in Changzhou.
Meanwhile, World No. 1 men’s doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo will face a significant hurdle in the first round as they Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi of Japan who have been in top form as they beat a several top men’s doubles pair to advance to last week’s World Championships final.
Lastly, men’s doubles No. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan are likely to face Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik if the seeds hold.