KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's top-ranked badminton star Lee Chong Wei is determined to make a comeback on home turf this week after a weekend loss in South Korea to world No. 2 Chen Long of China.
The Malaysian Open kicks off tomorrow with the 31-year-old hometown hero smarting from his loss to Chen on Sunday in the singles final of the Korean Open.
The top two seeds could clash again in the final in Kuala Lumpur.
Lee has dominated world badminton, holding the top ranking nearly uninterrupted since 2008 and winning seven titles last year.
But Chen, 25, is mounting a strong challenge, beating Lee in their last four meetings and holding an 8-7 edge in head-to-head competition.
For all his dominance, Lee's career has been defined in part by his struggles against China's Lin Dan, who defeated Lee in the last two Olympic gold-medal matches and the two most recent World Championship finals.
Chen has since emerged as China's strongest men's player though he has struggled with injuries.