Chong Wei to play only mixed doubles in Selangor Open
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012
Lee Chong Wei believes in the saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
So, he’s going to mix it up and have fun in the Selangor Open starting at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara tomorrow – by playing in only the mixed doubles.
Vivian Hoo will be his partner, but his mere presence is bound to raise the level of interest in the tournament with the fans wanting to catch a glimpse of the world No. 1 men’s singles player in action.
The undisputed king of the local circuit – he has been unbeaten on home soil for the last 10 years in the singles – said he just wanted to have some fun to break the tedium of training for the All-England and the London Olympics.
He said his absence in the singles would pave the way for others to shine.
“I wanted to support the local tournament but didn’t want play in the singles. The best option was to try something new so I decided to play in the mixed doubles with Vivian,” said Chong Wei.
“I hope that the back-up singles players will take the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“The last time I played mixed doubles was during my junior days.
“It will be fun to try it again. It’s only a 16-draw competition so it will give me more time to focus on my preparations for the All-England (March 6-11),” said Chong Wei.
But Chong Wei’s mixed doubles calibre cannot be underestimated as he was the 2002 Malaysian Games (Sukma) champion with Chin Eei Hui for Penang.
Chong Wei-Vivian, who take on Mohd Hashim-Ho Bee Ling from Selangor-Kuala Lumpur in the opening round, are in the same half as second seeds Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing. The overwhelming favourites are top seeds, and Olympic-bound, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
In the absence of Chong Wei in the men’s singles, top seed Liew Daren and second seed Mohd Arif Abdul Latif are expected to make the final but they can expect world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli to ruffle some feathers.
In the men’s doubles, top pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong are playing but with different partners. Boon Heong will team up with Peng Soon while Kien Keat will partner Lim Khim Wah.
The Selangor Open is making a return to the National Circuit after a lapse of eight years but it will not be held at SBA Hall as the organisers feel Stadium Juara will be more conducive to catering to a bigger crowd.
Courtesy of The Star