ETALING JAYA: Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong are in for a rough ride at the All-England in Birmingham from March 7-12.
The first Superseries tournament of the year is the world No. 1 men’s doubles shuttlers’ first competition since winning the World Superseries Finals in December.
They were supposed to play at the Malaysian Masters in Sibu last month but pulled out after Wee Kiong suffered a shoulder injury.
V Shem-Wee Kiong, the All-England semi-finalists last season, will kick off their campaign against Japanese Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi in the first round. If they win, the new Chinese pairing of Liu Xiaolong-Xu Chen await them in the second round.
The other Malaysian pair – world No. 26 Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi – have also been handed a tricky draw.
They face Taiwan’s world No. 24 Lu Ching-yao-Yang Po-han in the first round with the winners set to meet world No. 8 Mads Conrad Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark in the next round.
Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Malaysia’s only player in the men’s singles following injuries to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, has an unfavourable draw.
The former world junior champion is up against defending champion Lin Dan of China in the opening round. It will be the five-time world champion’s first competition since the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last August.
In the mixed doubles, both the Malaysian pairs of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing are seeded to reach the quarter-finals.
Sixth seeds Peng Soon-Liu Ying are expected to meet world No. 1 Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen of China for a place in the semi-finals.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing, seeded eighth, should progress to meet title-holders Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto of Indonesia in the quarter-finals.