Paris: French Open Super Series' main draw will start here Wednesday at the 3,900-seater Pierre de Coubertin Stadium without two of badminton's top stars - Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei - who pulled out last week.
Chinese superstar Lin, also known as Super Dan, withdrew from Denmark Open last Thursday while playing his second round match against local favourite Jan O Jorgensen due to a sore knee. Malaysia's Lee had decided to skip the Danish event even before it started, reports Xinhua.
The long time rivals have met 31 times out of which two-time Olympic champion Lin has had 22 victories over his arch-rival Lee.
With a total prize money of $275,000, the French Open features men's singles defending champion O Jorgensen, top three women's singles Li Xuerui, Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan (all from China) as well as reigning World Champion Carolina Marin of Spain among a bunch of world class shuttlers in the pairs events.
Started in 1986, the French Open is now part of the 12-tournament Super Series calendar which will be followed by the Super Series Finals in Dubai in December.