Lee Chong Wei fancied to retain his title at this week's Japan Open.
The BWF Super Series event kicks off on September 17 and runs until the 22 and the Malaysian superstar is not expected to face a serious threat until the semi-finals where he could face either fourth-seeded Thai Boonsak Ponsana or Nguen Tien Minh of Vietnam.
Chong Wei is in the top half of the draw and as a consequence has avoided World No. 2 Chen Long and third-seeded Chinese ace Du Pengyu, who should face off in the other semi.
Lee Chong Wei could face Chen Long in the Japan Open final (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)
The World No. 1 opens his campaign against Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan with a possible second round encounter with Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia on the cards. Hu Yun of Hong Kong is a potentual quarter-final opponent.
Chong Wei spoke to The Star Online about his plans ahead of the tournament and amid calls for him to ease up on his hectic schedule:
“I will be on my toes from next week onwards. I intend to defend my title in Japan.
“Then, I will head straight to China. I am the only Malaysian playing in the China league and I will be in the same team as four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng. Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon has also been invited to play.
“I plan to take a break in December. I am not entered for the SEA Games in Myanmar. I would qualify for the BWF Super Series Finals as the top seed but I do not intend to play in it. I would rather take a break the whole of December and start afresh for the new season in 2014 with the Korean and Malaysian Opens.”
Live streaming from Japan commences at 0155 BST on Tuesday and is not to be missed.
To watch the Japan Open live online at 365 simply: