Lee Zii Jia is facing a tough task to recover from a dismal Thailand Open outing after he was placed in the same group as Viktor Axelsen, Chou Tien-chen and Anthony Ginting at the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals.
The Malaysian was in danger of missing out on this week's season finale after crashing out in the first round of the Toyota Thailand Open when he lost to India’s Sameer Verma.
Lee also lost to Chou in the straight sets at quarter-finals of the Yonex Thailand Open two weeks ago.
Now given another chance, he would need to be at his best to pull out all the stops and have any chance of finishing as the top two shuttlers in Group A to progress to the semi-finals.
Axelsen, who beat him en route to winning last year’s All-England, was in immense form by capturing both the men’s singles titles at the Thailand Opens.
Chou and Ginting would also be looking to bounce back from sub-par outings at both events, so the stakes couldn’t get any higher for Lee.
Group B seems easier on paper, with Anders Antonsen, Wang Tzu Wei, K. Srikanth and Angus Ng Ka Long in the mix.
Malaysia are represented in all categories at the World Tour Finals except for the women’s singles.
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are in Group A of the men’s doubles with recent champions Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin, Ben Lane-Sean Vendy and Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge.
Last week’s finalists Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are in Group B with Muhammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan, Vladimir Sozonov and Choi Sol-gyu-Seo Seung-jae.
In the women’s doubles, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean are in the same group as compatriots Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen alongside Greysia Polli-Apriyani Rahayu.
Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai will line up against Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich, Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue and Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emmanuelle Widjaja in the mixed doubles.