World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei should not have it too tough in the China Open (Nov 12-17) and Hong Kong Open (Nov 19-24).
In the draw released for the Hong Kong meet on Wednesday, the 31-year-old Chong Wei, who succumbed to fatigue in the recent Denmark and French Opens, will meet Indian youngster K. Srikanth in the first round.
An expected win could see him face compatriot Chong Wei Feng, provided the world No. 17 gets past Sho Sasaki of Japan in the first round.
Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen and China’s Du Pengyu await Chong Wei in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
Jorgensen, who bagged his first Super Series title recently at the French meet, could provide some stiff resistance for Chong Wei.
The tall Dane came close in his home tournament, pushing Chong Wei to three games but lost the mental battle.
But Chong Wei, who only has Pengyu to contend with in his half of the draw in the China Open, should pull through.
The biggest surprise of the Hong Kong Open, however, is the return of four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng as a pair.
The duo were earlier split up because they were deemed too old to shoulder China’s hopes for the future but results from their other pairs in the Danish and French meets were not too favourable.
Meanwhile, world No. 5 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and world No. 12 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong are not competing in Hong Kong and will need strong results in the China Open to secure their places in the Super Series Finals in December.
Thien How-Wee Kiong are currently ninth in the Super Series standings but should still qualify once the second ranked pair in the list – South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae, who have since split up – are removed from the list.
Thien How-Wee Kiong, however, will still require a massive favour from ex-internationals Gan Teik Chan-Ong Soon Hock.
Teik Chan-Soon Hock will take on the No. 10 pair in the Super Series standings – Japan’s Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda – in the first round.
Wee Kiong will still be in Hong Kong – but only for the mixed doubles with Vivian Hoo. The pair will start from the qualifiers and face local pair Tang Chun Man-Ng Wing Yung in the first round. A win will pit them against Thailand’s Maneepong Jongjit-Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Top mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are also in the fray and will be seeking to improve on their seventh position in the Super Series standings.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying will meet Indonesia’s Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Rizki Amelia Pradipta in the first round of the Hong Kong meet.