Chong Wei faces tricky path to title
World No 1 Lee Chong Wei will, once again, start as the favourite to add another BWF World Super Series title to his name when the Li Ning Singapore Open gets underway at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 15-20 June.
The Malaysian, however, can expect some stiff competition from Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro who has stopped Chong Wei’s progress at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships, and Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen and Peter Gade.
Chong Wei will open his campaign against France’s Brice Leverdez and is expected to face Sony in the quarter-finals. Should the Malaysian get past Sony, he could face either Vietnam’s Nguyen Tienh Minh, who stopped him in the second round last year, or All England finalist Kenichi Tago of Japan.
In the women’s singles, Saina Nehwal from India is the top seed and should comfortably progress to the last four for an expected clash against China’s reigning world champion Lu Lan.
Tine Rasmussen from Denmark, who did not compete in the recent Uber Cup Finals in Kuala Lumpur due to injury, makes a return and will take on India’s Aditi Mutatkar in the first round.
Thailand’s Songphon Anugritayawon-Sudket Prapakamol also make a return to the Super Series but will play in the men’s doubles qualification stage. The Thai pair, however, should qualify for the tournament proper.
Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Indonesia’s Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan are the No 1 and No 2 seeds respectively and they open their respective campaign with tricky matches against Korea’s Kim Ki Jung-Shin baek Cheol and Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa-Kenta Kazuno.
Denmark’s Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen and Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen are also in the fray and if all goes according to script, should qualify for the semi-finals against Koo-Tan and Markis-Hendra respectively.
Paaske-Rasmussen play China’s Liu Xialong-Qiu Zihan while Boe-Mogensen take on England’s Marcus Ellis-Peter Mills in the first round.
Japan’s Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna and Mizuki Fujii-Reika Kakiiwa and Korea’s Kim Min Jung-Lee Hwo Jung and Ha Jung Eun-Jung Kyung Eun are the frontrunners for the women’s doubles title with the Japanese pairs seeded No 1 and No 2 respectively.
In the mixed doubles, Nova Widianto-Lilyana Natsir from Indonesia and Denmark’s Thomas Laybourn-Kamilla Rytter Juhl renew their rivalry with both pairs expected to meet in the final.
For full details of the draw, log on to http://www.internationalbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=2326&calendarid=73 and click on Draw.