KUALA LUMPUR: All the reigning world champions, except for China’s Lin Dan, will be making their presence felt in the Malaysian Open, which begins at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
Such a high-profile line-up is set to make this year’s edition an explosive one and a sure-fire way to draw in the crowd.
Malaysia are hosting the Super Series Premier for the first time and all the current world champions have confirmed their participation. They are Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon (women’s singles), China’s Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (women’s doubles) and Indonesia’s Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (men’s doubles) and Tontowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir (mixed doubles).
All of them triumphed in last year’s World Championships in Guangzhou.
Lin Dan, who defeated Malaysian superstar Lee Chong Wei in the final of the men’s singles, is enjoying another long break after winning the world title for the fifth time in Guangzhou.
He is expected to make a comeback at the All-England in Birmingham in March.
Malaysian badminton fans will have another reason to trudge to the Putra Stadium – to watch and support local hero Chong Wei go for his 10th home title and seal his status as the most successful player in the series.
Chong Wei has won all the home titles consecutively since 2004, except for 2007.
Malaysia will also be banking on Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng to provide some surprises in the Open.
Hopes are also high on Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Tan Chun Seang, Zulfadli Zulkifli and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin to come through the qualifying tournament on Tuesday.
There is no entrance fee for the qualifying tournament on Tuesday.
However, ticket prices will vary from the opening day to the final and will range from RM15-RM65, depending on the choice of seats.
Season passes will cost between RM120 and RM170 throughout the tournament. Tickets can be purchased online or at the counter.