Wang aims for a better showing in S Korea

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong's Wang Chen, the world number six, is hoping to bounce back at this week's Korean Open after a disappointing quarter-final exit at the Malaysian Open last week.

Wang was beaten in straight sets by the mainland's Zhu Lin in Kuala Lumpur, with Hong Kong coach Cha Chi-choi blaming match fitness.

'She only resumed serious training a week before the Malaysian event after being treated for the neck injury that ruled her out of the Hong Kong Open in late November,' said Chan.

'Considering the short time she had to prepare for the Kuala Lumpur tournament, the result wasn't totally unexpected. Also, you have to remember that Zhu is one of the fastest improving players on the circuit.

'Still, it was good that Wang had a tough test. Her game is improving and with the Olympics just around the corner, she knows it's important to improve her world ranking before seedings [for Beijing] are decided.'

Chan added that Wang should qualify for the Olympics based on her ranking, but if she was to move up the ladder, she would get a better seeding and improve her medal prospects.

Wang, 31, faces a qualifier in today's first round in Korea - which like the Malaysian Open is a Super Series event - and is drawn to meet the winner of an all-Japanese clash between Eriko Hirose and Kaori Mori in the next round.

Hong Kong's two other women should overcome their first-round opponents before clashing in the second round.

Yip Pui-yin, the world number nine, and Zhou Mi, the former world number one, will take on Tracey Hallam, of England, and Diehl Ella, of Russia, respectively.

'If the form book holds, they will meet each other in the second round and then we'll see how it goes,' said Chan.

In the men's singles, Chan Yan-kit has lost some of the form that saw him reach 23 in the rankings recently, and he faces a tough first-round match against Sairul Amar Ayob, of Malaysia. Ng Wei, ranked just in front of Chan, will meet Przemyslaw Wacha, of Poland.