Taiwan: After claiming back-to-back titles in both US Open and Canada Open recently, and after welcoming his newborn son last week, badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia will again be the sentimental favourite when the main draw of Chinese Taipei Open gets under way on Wednesday. Unlike his recent two tournaments at North America, Lee could face world No. 1 Chen Long of China in quarter-finals, and could possibly set up a mouthwatering final clash with his nemesis Lin Dan in the final.
After an eight month absence from the game, the Chinese Taipei Open is especially critical for Lee to earn enough points to qualify for both the Japan Super Series, and the Korea Open Super Series that will be held in September. The entry deadlines for both Japan Super Series and Korea Open Super Series are 7/28/2015 and 8/4/2015, right before the BWF World Championships that will kick off on August 10, 2015.
India’s Kidambi Srikanth is seeded third in the tournament and could face either Lee Chong Wei or Chen Long in the men’s singles semi-finals.
Even though defending women’s singles champion Saina Nehwal of India is not competing at this year’s Chinese Taipei, the tournament is still getting a boost from some of the biggest women’s singles stars on the planet such as top seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, second Li Xuerui of China, and third seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan.
South Koreans Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong, Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia and Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia are the star attractions in the men’s doubles category.
The tournament would be a perfect warm-up tournament for women’s doubles pairs such as top seeds Japanese Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, Chinese duo Luo Ying/Luo Yu, and the Malaysian pair of Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei in the build-up to world championships.
Meanwhile, Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei of China, Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia, Xu Chen/Ma Jin of China, Reginald Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong, and Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen are mixed doubles players to watch over the next five days in Taipei.