THE Denmark Open will be an important Super Series event for Lee Chong Wei and men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong who will be targeting victory in Odense on Oct 21-26 for different reasons.
Chong Wei, the top seed, has not won a title since becoming the World No 1 in August, and will be determined to silence his critics by taking the title. Chong Wei’s last two attempts, at the Japan and Macau Opens over the last three weeks, was halted in the final by Indonesians Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Taufik Hidayat respectively.
However, this was because Chong Wei wasn’t well prepared for the two tournaments as celebrations after securing the Beijing Olympics silver medal had taken its toll on the 25-year-old.
The next two weeks of training should improve his physical conditioning as the Denmark Open will be a tougher field despite the absence of China’s Olympic champion Lin Dan.
Chong Wei opens his campaign against compatriot Sairul Amar Ayub, and a win will see him up against another Malaysian, Hafiz Hashim before setting up a possible quarter-final clash against Simon Santoso of Indonesia.
China’s third seed Bao Chunlai will provide Chong Wei with the toughest challenge as they are drawn to meet in the last four, and another win could see him meet another player from China, second seed Chen Jin.
Meanwhile, Kien Keat-Boon Heong are on the comeback trail and winning the Denmark Open will put them back solidly among the men’s doubles elite again.
The Malaysian pair were untested in their first victory of the year, the Macau Open last Sunday, but in Denmark, with several world class pairs entered including Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Seatiawan, Kien Keat-Boon Heong will be severely tested.
The Denmark Open was the last top class tournament Kien Keat-Boon Heong won before going into a rut, and the same tournament could provide them with a lifeline.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong have easy first and second round matches against Germany’s Michael Fuchs-Ingo Kindervater and Denmark’s Peter Steffensen-Rasmus Andersen respectively.
They then face a tricky quarter-final clash against China’s scratch pair of Cai Yun-Xu Chen before a much anticipated clash against Markis-Hendra in the last four.
Victory will most likely pit them against second seeds Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark for the title.
Another struggling pair Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari will also be looking for inspiration in Denmark after suffering early exits in the Japan Open and China Masters.
Zakry-Fairuz should get past England’s Robert Adcock-Robin Middleton in the first round but a tricky second round clash against Guo Zhendong-He Hanbin awaits them, before the tough battle against Markis-Hendra in the quarter-finals.