KUALA LUMPUR: National singles shuttler Liew Daren is set to pay a heavy price for his early round defeats in the back-to-back Denmark Open and French Open.
The 26-year-old may not be sent for the last two Super Series in China and Hong Kong although his name has been entered for both tournaments.
The China Open is from Nov 12-17 in Shanghai and the Hong Kong Open is from Nov 19-24 in Kowloon.
The new management of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have set a new precedence as far as the selection of players for international tournaments is concerned. Players will be given the green light to compete based on current form and, unfortunately, Daren has been far from impressive of late.
On Tuesday, world No. 20 Daren went down 21-15, 15-21, 19-21 to veteran Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand in the opening round of the French Open.
Last week, he withdrew from his first round match against P. Kashyap of India due to a swollen foot.
The early round defeats and his likely absence from the China and Hong Kong Opens are expected to push him further down the world rankings. Daren is currently ranked third in the country behind world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and world No. 16 Chong Wei Feng.
Besides Daren, the BAM have entered only a limited number of players for the China Open.
They are Chong Wei, Wei Feng, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
The number is even smaller for the Hong Kong Open as the BAM have only listed Daren, Chong Wei, Wei Feng, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Peng Soon-Liu Ying and Wee Kiong-Vivian.
This will be Vivian-Khe Wei’s first tournament since reaching the quarter-finals of the World Championships in Guangzhou two months ago.
Wee Kiong has only been entered for the mixed doubles and it looks like the bulky Thien How will have to stay at home to work on his physical condition.
The decision to name world No. 5 Peng Soon-Liu Ying for both the Open tournaments despite their struggles on the international scene could be an indication that BAM are desperate for them to qualify for the BWF’s World Super Series Finals from Dec 11-15.
Only the top eight pairs after the 12-leg Super Series will get to play in the US$500,000 (RM1.75mil) tournament.
If Peng Soon-Liu Ying can maintain their position in the top eight and make the cut for the Finals, they will not represent the country in the Myanmar SEA Games. The badminton competition at the Games (from Dec 9-14) clashes with the Finals.