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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Malaysian Open Day 2 Predictions

After the mass falling of the seeds, the field in Malaysian Open has certainly become tighter and more interesting...

Zhu Lin vs. Zhou Mi
This will be a rematch of the China Open second round. The question in everybody's mind is, whether Zhou Mi would 'let' Zhu Lin win in order to please Li Yongbo? Everybody knows that Li Yongbo has a notorious history of forcing players to withdraw, and will he use China's influnece over Hong Kong to manipulate the match? Zhu's lost to Wong Mew Choo in the China Open was partially attributed to the fact that she and Zhou had a one hour long match the day before. Will Li want to take the risk again? However, if the match were to go fair and square, I still think the reigning world champion Zhu will slightly edge Zhou Mi

Taufik Hidayat vs. Simon Santoso
Taufik barely scraped through the match yesterday against Park Sung Hwan. Admittedly, Park has improved a lot, but this is an indication that Taufik is not playing at his highest standard. Taufik lost to Simon in the finals of the Chinese Taipei Open, and will be bursting with confidence after his systematic 25 minute destruction of Andrew Smith. It will be a close match, and the outcome is extremely hard to call.

Lee Chong Wei vs. Wacha Przemyslaw
Lee just managed to edge past compatriot Hafiz Hashim in yesterday's first round match. Now, he faces Polish giant killer Wacha. Lee has not been feeling well, and has complained of stomach cramps and stomach aches. However, I still think he should safely go past Wacha, who is just not up to Lee's standard.

Chen Yu vs. Andre Kurniawan Tedjono
A rematch of the Russian Open semifinals, in which Andre won. I believe that although Chen Yu has a higher seeding, Andre has proven himself to be underrated, and should take this close 3 setter.

Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong vs. Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen
Koo and Tan survived a first round scare against Indonesians Joko and Hendra yesterday. Today, they face a tough opponent, in the form of former world champions Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen. Both pairs are not exactly in form yet, and it is hard to tell who would win this encounter of the day. Lars and Jonas were unconvincing in the Copenhagen Masters, and unless they recover some of the form that won them their World Championship title, they are in for another second round defeat.

Zakry/Fairuzizuan vs. Tony Gunawan/Candra Wijaya
Another interesting encounter to watch out for. Zakry and Fairuzizuan defeated the Olympic Gold Medalist last year at the Indonesian Open. Zakry and Fairuzizuan were rather unconvincing yesterday, and could be in for a tussle with Tony and Candra. This will be a tight match, and I look forward to watching these two pairs battle it out.

Hopefully the Malaysian fans will not be like yesterday's and boo our players when they are down. This is extremely unsporting and unsupportive. If you are going to the stadium, I appeal to you to NOT kick our players when they are down. Give them the support they need. They are humans and they make mistakes.

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