None of the top Chinese will make the trip to Kuala Lumpur mid-January for the Maybank Malaysia Open Super Series. Specifically, there will be no Lin Dan, no Chen Jin, no Chen Long and no Du Pengyu to bother Lee Chong Wei, who will be the main favourite for the men’s singles title at his home event. The Malaysian will, however, have a tough first draw against Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, this coming a week after beginning the inaugural 2013 tournament with a match against China’s Wang Zhengming, who is the highest-ranked Chinese men’s singles shuttler in the Malaysia Open.
It is even an even weaker contingent from China in the women’s singles draw as none of the “Wangs” appear in the line-up, leaving Saina Nehwal as top seed. In the doubles, the stars from China are there – Zhang Nan, Chai Biao, Tian Qing, and Zhao Yunlei – but all are playing with younger partners, the longest-running pairing being Ma Jin and Tang Jinhua in the women’s doubles.