NO MOTIVATION: Daddy wants to spend more time with his newborn son
LEE Chong Wei will most likely skip the Malaysia Open but men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are almost assured of retaining their title in view of the mediocre opposition at the grand prix gold event which begins at Juara Stadium on Tuesday.
World No 1 Chong Wei, who is currently competing in the India Open in New Delhi, may opt not to play in the tournament so that he can spend more time with his newborn son Kingston.
Having won the event four times in a row, it will be difficult for Chong Wei to motivate himself and added to that, his preparation has also not been ideal for almost two months now.
The tournament, originally to be held in Kuantan, has been moved to Juara Stadium and the start of the competition was also brought forward by one day as the finals coincided with the May 5 general elections.
Chong Wei’s withdrawal will rob the Malaysia Open of its glitter. However, it will be a blessing for back-up singles players Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng if Chong Wei skips the event as it will pave the way for either one to win the event.
Wei Feng desperately needs to win to boost his career as he has never won an international title but will have to overcome some tough hurdles to make it to the final.
Wei Feng, who opens his quest against a qualifier, is likely to meet Sameer Verma of India in the second round before an expected clash against compatriot Arif Latif.
A quarter-final clash against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand will be Wei Feng’s big test and if he clears that hurdle, Chong Wei (if he decides to play) awaits him in the semi-finals.
Daren’s biggest threat comes in the quarter-finals where he could meet rising China shuttler Chen Yuekun and if he progresses, will find Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro or Simon Santoso awaiting him in the last four.
If Daren can reproduce the form that won him the French Open last year, he could make a breakthrough.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong could not have had it any easier with second-seeded compatriots Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How their biggest challenge.
Up against a qualifying pair in the opening round, Kien Keat-Boon Heong should meet back-up pair Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi in the second round, before a likely encounter with Yonathan Dasuki-Hendra Gunawan of Indonesia in the last eight.
Compatriots Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari will be their rivals in the semi-finals, assuming they get that far.
Wee Kiong-Thien How are expected to do battle against Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah for a place in the final and neither pair should be a threat to Kien Keat-Boon Heong for the title.