Chong Wei out to get even with ri­vals who have branded him ar­ro­gant

New Straits Times - - Sport - AJITPAL SINGH ajit­pals­

IN what could be his fi­nal out­ing in the All Eng­land, Lee Chong Wei will not only be eye­ing his fourth ti­tle but wants to get even with some ri­vals who have branded him as ar­ro­gant.

Danes Vik­tor Ax­elsen and Hans Kris­tian Vit­tinghus told recently that they were not “very fond” of the World No 1’s at­ti­tude on court.

“What both­ers me about Chong Wei is that if he has the chance to hit your body with the shut­tle, he will do so.

“He does not just play the shut­tle into the open court, even if that’s clearly enough to take a point, but no, he’s al­ways try­ing to hit your body, ev­ery time, and that makes you an­gry,” said Ax­elsen.

But the Dan­ish World No 3 also praised the Malaysian by stat­ing that he is a fan­tas­tic player and al­ways plays to win.

World No 13 Vit­tinghus said: “I played twice against him in Malaysia. If he is clearly in the lead, he will show off and fool around with you.

“And this does not make him par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing,” said the Dane.

Ax­elsen and Chong Wei have met 10 times with the for­mer record­ing his only win over the World No 1 in their last en­counter at last year’s BWF Su­per Se­ries Fi­nals in Dubai.

Vit­tinghus lost in all his four pre­vi­ous meet­ings against the three-time Olympic sil­ver medal­list.

Chong Wei is known to show off at times dur­ing matches with his fancy re­turns but he does it to re­lax his mind from the pres­sures of the game. and it has noth­ing to do with be­ing dis­re­spect­ful.

The three-time All Eng­land cham­pion recently had a spat with BA of Malaysia tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Morten Frost af­ter he suf­fered a knee in­jury from fall­ing on a mat at Acad­emy Bad­minton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara last month.

The top seed will play a qual­i­fier in the first round and is drawn to face fifth seed and reign­ing Olympic cham­pion Chen Long in the semi-fi­nals.

Ax­elsen must thank his lucky stars for not been drawn in Chong Wei’s half. Third seeded Ax­elsen is ex­pected to face twotime Olympic cham­pion Lin Dan in the quar­ter-fi­nals and sec­ond seed Jan O Jor­gensen in the semi-fi­nals.

Vit­tinghus is drawn in Chong Wei’s half but the Dane is likely to exit in his ex­pected sec­ond round match against Chen Long.

For­mer world ju­nior cham­pion Zul­fadli Zulk­if­fli is the other Malaysian in the main draw. He, how­ever, is ex­pected to be shown the door by Lin Dan in the first round.

Lee Chong Wei is gun­ning for his fourth All Eng­land ti­tle.

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