Top seed Lee Chong Wei faces familiar foe Hu Yun of China in the Men's singles second-round match of Malaysia Open 2017 at the Jalan Stadium in Kuching on Thursday.
The defending champion, who is eyeing his 12th Malaysia Superseries Premier title this year, needed just 43 minutes to decimate Rajiv Ouseph 21-16, 21-18 in his first-round outing yesterday. On the other hand, Hu survived a closely-fought battle against Anders Antonsen 21-17, 19-21, 21-10 to set up a meeting with the Malaysian legend for the 10th time in his career.
Lee has won eight of the nine meetings between them so far with his only defeat to the 35-year-old Chinese shuttler coming at the 2012 World Superseries Finals. The in-form Malaysian shuttler will start as favourite to extend his winning record over Hu as he is looking unstoppable after coming back from a knee injury earlier this year.
The 34-year-old has dropped only one game since beginning his 2017 campaign by beating Brice Leverdez in the opening round of All England Championships, which he won edging past China's Shi Yuqi in the title match. The 11-time champion, who is expected to meet either Shi or reigning Olympic champion Chen Long in the semi-final is likely to have an easy passage till the last-four stages.
Hu has not had the best of starts to his 2017 campaign and the last time he made a mark in a Superseries event was at the 2015 Singapore Open in which he reached the title match only to go down to Japan's Kento Momota. The world number 15 has not gone past the third round in any of the tournaments he has played in the the ongoing season and even his best later today might not be enough to stop in-form Lee from progressing to the next round.
India: Star Sports 2
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Singapore: StarHub Sports