KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Chong Wei Feng will be out to avoid a beating when he takes on his illustrious senior Lee Chong Wei in the second round of the Hong Kong Open in Kowloon on Thursday.
On Wednesday, top seed and defending champion Chong Wei and Wei Feng assured one ticket for Malaysia in the quarter-finals when the duo cleared their first round matches in convincing fashion.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei, who skipped last week’s China Open due to discomfort in his ankle, showed that he was back in the groove by dumping India’s future star K. Srikanth 21-18, 21-14 in just 30 minutes.
Wei Feng, tipped to be his successor, also played superbly when he defeated Japan’s No. 2 player Sho Sasaki 21-8, 21-12 in 36 minutes.
It was sweet revenge for Wei Feng after having lost to the Japanese in the opening round of the French Open just two weeks ago.
The 26-year-old Wei Feng hopes to steal at least one game against world No. 1 Chong Wei on Thursday.
“On paper, Chong Wei is the favourite. It is my dream to beat him at least once before he retires one day but right now, there is still a gulf in standard between us. I will be happy to steal a game off him and challenge him to the end,” said Wei Feng.
So far, Wei Feng has played Chong Wei twice at the international stage last year.
In the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold, he started well before running out of gas to lose 18-21, 21-15, 8-21 in 49 minutes but in the Japan Open, he went down 15-21, 15-21 in just 28 minutes.
If Chong Wei wins, he will take on the winner of the match between French Open champion Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark and Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen.
There was however, good news for Chong Wei Wednesday when one of his strongest rivals – second seed Chen Long of China withdrew from the competition.
The reigning China Open champion’s decision to skip the last leg of the Super Series gave Germany’s Marc Zwiebler a free ride into the second round against Wang Zhengming of China.
Zhengming is the last man standing for China in the men’s singles when three others – fourth seed Du Pengyu, Gao Huan and Chen Yuekun – crashed out in the opening round.
Meanwhile, Malaysia kept the flag flying high in the mixed doubles when world No. 5 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying survived a tough ordeal before winning 19-21, 21-12, 21-16 against Indonesians Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Rizki Amelia Pradipta in the first round.
On Thursday, they have a tricky match against Germany’s Michael Fuchs-Birgit Michels for a place in the quarter-finals. The Malaysians have lost once to these Germans during the Sudirman Cup and should not take their opponents lightly.