KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian fans want an All-England men’s singles finale between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan of China.
But national coach Misbun Sidek has not thought that far.
He wants Chong Wei to deal with a more pressing matter – to be cool in the head – ahead of the circuit’s oldest tournament, which will be held in cold Birmingham from March 9-14.
Misbun feels that the centenary All-England will be a test of Chong Wei’s true character.
“To me, the main target is for Chong Wei to have a better grip of himself. All will be going for his scalp and there is no easy passage for him. There will be mounting pressure,” said Misbun.
“He will be entering the All-England as the winner of the Korean and Malaysian Super Series. Over confidence can also be his downfall if he is not careful.
“Under the circumstances, it will not be easy for Chong Wei to have a strong and stable mind going into the All-England.
“But I hope that he will be able to strike a balance. He has to have the confidence but not until the extent that he puts too much pressure on himself.”
Misbun said he would play his part to deflect the pressure away from his charge.
“I am not going to make it worse by increasing the pressure by setting a target for him to meet Lin Dan in the final.
‘It will be great if that happens. For now, though, I will be happy if he stays cool in every match that he plays from the first round onwards,” said Misbun.
Chong Wei is the top seed and in his quarter are Chetan Anand of India, Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia and Jan O. Jorgensen of Denmark.
Chong Wei plays Chetan in the opening round and barring any upset he should take on Sony and Jorgensen in the second round and quarter-finals respectively.
Sony and Jorgensen are expected to clear their first round hurdles against China’s Du Pengyu and Chen Long respectively.
If Chong Wei clears the quarter-finals, he will take on either Indonesian Taufik Hidayat, who is chasing an elusive All-England title, or Denmark’s Peter Gade-Christensen, who is yearning for his second title after emerging champion in 1999.
In the bottom half of the draw with second seed Lin Dan are compatriots Bao Chunlai, Chen Jin, South Korean Park Sung-hwan, Indonesian Simon Santoso and Malaysia’s Mohd Hafiz Hashim.
For the record, Chong Wei failed to live up to the top billing at last year’s All-England when he went down to Lin Dan in the final.