PETALING JAYA: In his heyday, veteran Wong Choong Hann beat all the Chinese players. All but one – Lin Dan.
And where he failed all those years ago, Choong Hann is hoping to succeed at the age of 30.
The Chinese is the top seed in the men's singles event of the German Open, which will begin on Wednesday in Mulheim, Germany.
Choong Hann left yesterday for the US$80,000 tournament, determined to set-up a match against Lin Dan. They have been drawn to meet in the quarter-finals.
“Based on the draw, I should make it into the last eight. I have not beaten Lin Dan yet. I lost to him at the last year's All-England. I have not met him since,” said Choong Hann, who faces Raul Must of Spain in the first round.
A win for the first time in six meetings against Lin Dan will certainly be a big boost for Choong Hann in his bid to make the cut for the World Championships, which will be held at Putra Stadium, from Aug 13-19.
“It has been a while since I pulled off a big win. Hopefully, I will be able to upset Lin Dan – if I get to play him. He is the only Chinese player that I have yet to beat,” he added.
Choong Hann has beaten Chen Jin once in three meetings; he has a 2-2 record against Chen Hong; has won two of his six meetings with Bao Chunlai; and has a good record of 6-2 against Chen Yu.
A good showing in the German Open and the next week's All-England, the third leg of the Super Series, will certainly help to improve his world ranking. He is currently ranked 72nd.
Lin Dan, who rebounded quickly from a second round exit in the Malaysian Open to win the Korean Open a week later last month, will likely meet another Malaysian - Mohd Roslin Hashim - in the third round.
The other men singles players in the main draw fray are Lee Tsuen Seng, Tan Chun Seang, K. Yogendran and Sairul Amar Ayob. Five others – Liew Daren, Beryno Wong, Lim Kenn, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Vountus Indra Mawan – will begin their campaign in the qualifying tournament on Tuesday.