KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has been given the all-clear to play in this week’s Hong Kong Open.
The 31-year-old, who skipped last week’s China Open due to an ankle injury, left for the island on Monday in search of his sixth Super Series title of the year. The Hong Kong Open, which begins on Wednesday, is the final leg of the 12-stop Tour.
He has never won more than six titles in a single season in the Super Series since its inception in 2007.
To date, Chong Wei has won five titles in South Korea, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Japan. And he has qualified for the BWF’s World Super Series Finals at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton (KLBA) Stadium in Cheras from Dec 11-15 as the top qualifier.
Chong Wei, a two-time Olympic silver medallist, was thankful that he had a week’s break to nurse his ankle.
“I am good now. I have grown comfortable with my movements during training. There is no longer any fear of aggravating it,” said Chong Wei.
Chong Wei, however, faces a big threat in his aim to preserve his impeccable run in the Super Series this season. Barring any upsets, he is tipped to meet in-form Chen Long of China, the second seed. Chen Long has been boosted by his win at the China Open.
This season, Chong Wei has failed to beat Chen Long in all their two meetings – at the All-England final in March and the Denmark Open final last month. Their head-to-head meeting stands at 7-7.
Chong Wei is drawn in the top half with French Open champion Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark, China’s Du Pengyu, Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana and Chong Wei Feng, Malaysia’s most improved player.
Chong Wei may play Wei Feng in the second round if both of them beat their first round opponents K. Srikanth of India and Sho Sasaki of Japan respectively.
Chen Long has a few talented players in the lower half of the draw like compatriot Wang Zhengming, Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto and Kenichi Tago of Japan.
There is, however, doubts about Liew Daren’s participation.
He suffered a hamstring injury during the China Open and national coach Rashid Sidek is monitoring his condition.
If Daren recovers in time, he will take on Tago in the first round.