SINGAPORE'S challenge in the biggest badminton tournament here has fizzled out even before competition begins. Both Ronald Susilo and Li Li are out of next month's Aviva Open Singapore, as the duo struggle to recover from illness and niggling injuries. Susilo, 25, has been battling tonsillitis and fever for the past two weeks and has not resumed full training since the Athens Olympic Games in August. He joins top woman player Li Li on the sidelines, as the 21-year-old tries to regain full fitness after recovering from having slight gangrene in her right knee. 'We do not wish to jeopardise their health by rushing them back into competition,' a Singapore Badminton Association spokesman told Timesport. 'They have had hectic schedules and have been playing almost non-stop. Both players have achieved a lot for Singapore badminton over the past two years, and it is important that we allow them to recover fully to avoid any serious injuries.' The duo are Singapore's top shuttlers, with Susilo a favourite among the fans at past Singapore Opens. He packed the Singapore Indoor Stadium two years ago with his surprising run to the final, and last year, he was again the focus of attention until his defeat in the last eight. But, while Susilo's and Li Li's absence will be a blow to the five-star Grand Prix event, the US$170,000 (S$288,000) prize money, among the most lucrative on the international circuit, is likely to attract most of the world's top players. Without Susilo and Li Li - this is the first time they are missing the event - fans will now look to Kendrick Lee as Singapore's main hope from Nov 15 to 21. The 20-year-old has had a spectacular year, winning two satellite titles and a Grand Prix trophy in his first year as a professional. And one of the reasons behind his run has been team-mate Susilo's coaching. At last month's Cheers Asian Satellite Championships, Susilo was the court-side coach to Kendrick and the arrangement seemed to work perfectly, with Kendrick picking up the title. Kendrick followed that up with his first Grand Prix victory at the US Open, where he used the short message system (SMS) to communicate daily with Susilo for tips on his opponents. With Susilo sidelined, Kendrick can expect even more tips and advice from Singapore's No 1. Said Susilo: 'I may not be playing this year but I will be at the tournament to help Kendrick. Don't forget, I am his unofficial coach.' While Kendrick, ranked 30th in the world, is not likely to win the title, he may be able to spring an upset or two. The same can be expected from Singapore's top women doubles pair of Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia, ranked 16th in the world.