KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 – Malaysian hope Lee Zii Jia was handed a tough draw in the men’s singles in the season-ending HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 which begin at Impact Arena in Bangkok on Wednesday.
To make it worse for the 23-year-old Malaysian who had a poor run in the recently concluded Yonex Thailand Open and the Toyota Thailand Open, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen who won both the tournaments is also drawn in the same Group A.
Others in the group are Chou Tien Chen of the Chinese Taipei, ranked No 2 in the world, and Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
Group B is made up of Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, Wan Tzu Wei (Chinese Taipei). India’s K. Srikanth and Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong China who was runners-up to Axelsen in the Yonex Thailand Open.
There is a ray of hope for Malaysia after both pairs – Aaron Chia-So Wooi Yik and professionals Ong Yew Sin-Teo Yi Sin were drawn into separate groups.
Malaysian number one Aaron-Wooi Yik, who did well to reach the final in the Toyota Thailand Open, is in Group B with world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, Russia’s 2016 All England champions Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov and Koreans Choi Sol-gyu-Seo Seung-chan.
Lee Yang-Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei, who scored back-to-back wins in the Yonex Thailand Open and the Toyota Thailand Open is in Group A with Yew Sin-Ee Yi and two English pairs Ben Lane-Sean Vendy and Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge.
The top two in each group will advance to the semi-finals.
Malaysia has no representative in the women’s singles with in-form Carolina Marin of Spain the early favorite for her third title in Bangkok in three weeks having won both the Yonex Thailand Open and the Toyota Thailand Open defeating Tai Tzu Ying in both finals.
Marin, the three-time world champion, is in the easier Group A and has Korea’s 18-year-old teen An Se-Young, Canada’s Hong Kong-born Michelle Li, and Russian debutant Evgeniya Kosetskaya for company.
The 26-year-old Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei is currently ranked number one in the world and drawn in Group B in the world tour finals faces India’s world champion PV Sindhu and two Thai threat Ratchanok Intanon and Pornpawee Chochuwon.
Both Malaysia pairs in the women’s doubles – Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean and Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen were drawn in Group A together with Indonesia’s Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (winners of the Yonex Thailand Open) and Koreans Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan (runners-up in the Toyota Thailand Open).
Group B as Toyota Thailand Open winners Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee Yong of Korea, England’s Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith, Germans Linda Efler-Isabel Herttrich, and Thai hopefuls Jongkolpan Kititarakul-Rawinda Prajongjai.
In the mixed doubles, Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanchai are expected to continue their hot streak favored to clinch their third title after winning a double in the last two weeks are in Group A with Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (England),  Indonesia’s All England champions Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti and Koreans Seo Seung-jae-Chae YuJung.
Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie will face Germans Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich, Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (France), and Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in the group stages in Group B.
Goh Soon Huat (right) and Shevon Lai to carry Malaysia’s challenge in the mixed doubles.

About The Author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here