Liew Daren is hoping to advance from the qualifying stage of the Malaysia Open in Kuching. Pix by ABDULLAH YUSOF.

KUALA LUMPUR: The focus of tomorrow's Malaysia Open qualifying stage in Kuching will be on former BA of Malaysia (BAM) shuttler Liew Daren, following the withdrawal of former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli.

Daren, who finished second at the Taiwan and Korea Masters last year, is determined to clear the first two rounds of qualifying in order to set a date with fourth seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the main draw tomorrow.

"I really hope to clear the qualifying round as it would mean a lot to me. However, the player I'm supposed to play tomorrow (today) B. Sai Praneeth may be promoted to the main draw following the withdrawal of several players.

"It doesn't really matter who I face tomorrow, as my own preparation is much more important," said Daren, who is confident with his current condition.

"My main aim is to qualify for the main draw first, and then to find the momentum as I have not played in any competition in the last four months."

Meanwhile, Zulfadli when contacted said he chose to withdraw from the competition as he had just recovered from a hamstring injury and is not well prepared.

"I only just got back to training and will focus on the Singapore Open next week instead and the Badminton Asia Championships at the end of the month," said Zulfadli.

Also taking to court tomorrow in the qualifying rounds are Chong Wei Feng, women's singles Lim Yin Fun, men's doubles' Tan Chee Tean-Tan Wee Gieen, Lee Jian Yi-Lim Zhen Ting, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, women's singles' Lim Chiew Sien-Teoh Mei Xing, Joyce Choong-Tee Jing Yi and mixed doubles Low Hang Yee-Cheah Yee See.

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