Fresh off delivering the winning point for the national men’s team at the Asia Team Championships, Ng Tze Yong is a man on a mission to achieve his top-20 ranking this year as he prepares for the German Open (March 8-13).

Ng, now ranked 46th, has a challenging opening match as he is scheduled to take on sixth seed Jonatan Christie.

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National coaching director Wong Choong Hann, said that Ng was not at his peak despite faring well at the Asian meet last week.

“He came into that tournament after recovering from Covid-19, so he was not at his best. There were instances where he lost his focus during the rallies, but it is not a big problem because he didn’t do it often.

“We can expect to see a much better version of him after this,” said Wong.

For the record, Ng had last faced Christie at the Thomas Cup quarter-finals last year, and stretched the Indonesian to a thrilling 75-minute, three-game contest before losing.

Besides Ng, fifth seeded Lee Zii Jia is also in action and he takes on Dutchman Mark Caljouw.

This is Lee’s first tournament as a professional shuttler, and he should be gunning to make an impact especially after signing what is understood to be a multi-million dollar deal with Taiwanese sports company Victor.

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Veteran Liew Daren is also in the mix as he plays China’s Zhao Jun Peng in the opening round.

The men’s singles field is a competition affair for this prelude to the All-England, with Viktor Axelsen, Kento Momota, Anders Antonsen and Anthony Ginting all featuring.

In the men’s doubles, Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong take on top seeded Japanese Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.

Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are up against M.R.Arjun-Dhruv Kapila, while Man Wei Chong-Kai Wun Tee have a date against Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin.

Goh V Shem-Low Juan Shen is also in action in another all-Malaysian affair against second seeds Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

In the women’s doubles, Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah play Scottish duo Julie MacPherson-Ciara Torrance, while Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien are up against Kati-Kreet Marran-Helina Ruutel.

In the mixed doubles, Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing face French pair William Villegar-Anne Tran, while Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai take on Callum Hemming-Jessica Pugh.

Ong-Goh Liu Ying, meanwhile, are set to make their debut against Scottish pair Adam Hall-MacPherson.

Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See are up against Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran, while Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei play fifth seeds Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith.