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Lee Chong Wei would give Mumbai edge over Delhi Smashers

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

With a fit-again world number one men's singles player Lee Chong Wei available to play, Mumbai Masters will have the edge when they take on Krissh Delhi Smashers in their Indian Badminton League clash here tomorrow.

Malaysian ace Lee, who missed the Masters' first two ties against Bangalore Beats and Pune Pistons, practiced last evening soon after his arrival and the World Championship runner-up's availability has propped up the hopes of his team.

In the absence of the Olympic silver-medallist, who has been signed for USD 135,000, Mumbai fielded Russian champion Vladimir Ivanov in the singles.

The tall world no 14, a steal for Mumbai at his base price of USD 15,000, did not let his team down and won both his singles matches in impressive fashion, at Delhi and Lucknow, besides doing his bit in the doubles too.

Mumbai look very strong in men's singles with the option to field both Lee and Ivanov.

But in that case they will have to sacrifice the Russian in the men's doubles tie if they want to play the All England champion Tine Baun in women's singles.

As per the format of the event, only three foreigners can be fielded in a single tie and no player can be fielded in more than two matches in the same tie.

Baun, the world number seven who has won the All England title three times including in March and was bought for USD 30,000, has surprisingly not been at her best and lost both her women's singles matches -- to Yang Tai Tzu of Banga Beats and Juliane Schenk of Pune Pistons.

Mumbai would be hoping for a much improved display from the Danish ace.

Ivanov, on the other hand, has been the surprise package for the home team which defeated Banga Beats in its tournament opener at Delhi on August 14 before squandering a 2-0 lead to go down to Pune Pistons in the Maharashtra Derby two nights ago at Lucknow.

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First Published: Mon, August 19 2013. 10:56 IST