PETALING JAYA: Malaysian shuttler Wong Choong Hann is bent on making up for his All-England disappointment at the Swiss Open. And thanks to a re-draw, he will not be up against any of his teammates in the early rounds of the Swiss Open at the St Jakob Sport Hall in Basel.
The 26-year-old Choong Hann had lost to Yong Hock Kin in the second round at the All-England in Birmingham. In the previous Swiss Open draw, Choong Hann was tipped to meet Hock Kin in the second round again.
In the first round yesterday, Hock Kin upstaged 13th seed South Korean Park Tae-sang 15-4, 6-15, 15-4.
Choong Hann, the top seed, is expected to reach the quarter-finals without much problems.
He has received a first round bye. His second round opponent is Japanese Shinya Ohtsuka. If he clears it, the third round may pit him against the Asian Badminton Championships champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia.
Choong Hann is however, expected to face stiff challenges from the last eight onwards. He will probably play China’s Chen Yu, who was a semi-finalist at the recent All-England championships.
Barring any upsets, he may face one of these players - Hock Kin, Danes Niels Christian Kaldau and Indonesian Rony Agustinus in the semi-finals.
Another Malaysian hopeful Lee Tsuen Seng also got off to a good start when he tamed Indian Anand Chetan 15-5, 15-2. He will play the winner of the match between Shoji Sato of Japan and Thailand's Anupap Thiraratsakul next.
Malaysia have only three men's singles representatives in the Swiss Open. National singles chief coach Misbun Sidek has decided to drop an injured Mohd Roslin Hashim and an off-form Lee Chong Wei from the meet.
Malaysia's challenges in the doubles however, have been reduced to only Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat.
Chang Kim Wai-Hong Chieng Hun failed to enter the main draw when they lost 11-15, 15-10, 3-15 to China's Sang Yang-Zheng Bo in the second round of the qualifying.
With a poor show at the Swiss Open and a first round defeat at the All-England, national doubles chief coach Yap Kim Hock is unlikely to include Kim Wai-Chieng Hun for the Japan and Korean Opens in April.
Tan Fook-Wan Wah have a chance to reach their second consecutive quarter-finals.
They play Americans Kevin Han-Howard Bach in the opening round and are tipped to meet All-England runner-up Lee Dong-soo-Yoo Yong-sung in the last eight.
Chong Ming-Kien Keat will play qualifiers Han Sang-hoon-Lee Jae-jin of South Korea in the opening round.