The unlikely upset was dependant on Denmark getting off to a winning start and their stars to recover from recent dips in form. China turned out to be just too strong on the day, as they retained the Sudirman for their 8th success.
Ma and Xu put China into an early advantage with their two game victory over Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen, winning 21-14, 21-14 and leaving Peter Gade needing a victory over Lin Dan to give Denmark any chance of winning. Lin Dan was in no mood to give Denmark a chance to get back into the final, defeating Peter Gade 21-16, 21-11 to put China on the brink of victory.
The men’s doubles did provide a shock as Denmark broke up their world #1 pairing and played Carsten Mogensen with Jonas Rasmussen against Cai and Fu in the men’s doubles. The decision did not reap any rewards as the Danish pair lost 21-17, 21-13 and China took their third and decisive match to retain the Sudirman Cup.
The questions will be asked over Boe and Mogensen’s poor form this week as well as the shock defeats that some of the Chinese women suffered in the singles, both nations had plenty of positives from the week but the real disappointment was the world #1 Danish pair who simply didn’t turn up this week.
Few expected the lone European nation in the last 8 to reach the final against the home nation of China. Their 3-1 victory over Indonesia was done again without the help of the #1 pair in the world for men’s doubles, as Boe and Mogensen succumbed to another defeat this week.
The first semi final seen the host nation take on Korea, the nation that defeated China in last year’s Uber Cup. The first match set the tone for the entire semi final as Xu and Ma took on Ko and Ha in a brutal 71 minute encounter that Korea had four chances to win the match and failed to deliver. The Chinese pairing had just one in the deciding game and took their opportunity to steal the victory from the Korean’s and but China 1-0 up.
Lin Dan doubled the host nations advantage with a convincing 21-16, 21-10 victory to put China within one match of the final. Cai and Fu took on their rivals Lee and Jung for the 13th time, with the head to head being level at 6-6. Lee and Jung had won the previous two matches and made it a third consecutive victory over Cai and Fu in their 62 minute encounter to pull the tie back to 2-1. Wang Shixian was given the chance to redeem herself after her opening match loss to Juliane Schenk in the 4th match of the tie, against Bae Youn Joo. It took 50 minutes but the Chinese were through the the final with Wang Shixian’s two game victory securing the 3-1 victory for China.
The second semi final started almost exactly the way of the first semi final, with the opening mixed doubles match going all the way to a third and deciding game. Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen were dominant in the decider and took the opening match for the Danes in a 63 minute match against Teng and Bernadeth. Peter Gade doubled the advantage with a tight two game victory over Simon Santoso, winning 21-18, 21-16 in 44 minutes.
The Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen have been the weak link this week, losing both of their matches to date. They had a third chance to win this week against the pair of Chandra and Ahsan but again struggled to produce any of the form that made them into the top partnership in the world and tamely lost 23-21, 21-17 to cut Indonesian deficit in half. It was left to Tine Baun to clinch a place in the final against Adriyanti Firdasari, their first meeting in almost two years. Tine Baun duely delivered a superb performance to win 21-13, 21-13 to book Denmark’s place in the final.
Tomorrow’s final will be won and lost with the men’s events. Can Boe and Mogensen regain any sort of form to defeat Cai and Fu in the men’s doubles? Can Peter Gade roll back the years and defeat Lin Dan for only the 4th time in their 16th meeting? Tine Baun will undoubtably needed to defeat one of the Chinese women in the singles if Denmark have any chance of winning the final. The Chinese are almost certain of winning the women’s doubles should Wang and Yu play. Meaning they only have to win 2 of the other 4 events to retain the Sudirman.
Semi Final Results:
It was well past midnight before the fourth nation was confirmed for the semi finals of the Sudirman Cup, as Indonesia and Japan’s quarter final went all the way to the 5th and final rubber.
Chandra and Ahsan took the opening doubles match for the Indonesians before the likely Japanese comeback took place in the singles event. Eriko Hirose leveled the quarter final at 1-1 with a three game victory before Kenichi Tago put Japan into a 2-1 lead with a comfortable two game victory over Simon Santoso in two games as Indonesia toiled without the threat of Taufik Hidayat in the men’s singles.
Japan went on the brink of victory, only for Indonesia to level the tie at 2-2 with a tight 2 game victory from Polii and Jauhari over Naito and Matsuo to send the match into a deciding rubber. The mixed doubles would determine who would progress and it was the Indonesian pair of Tang and Bernadeth that struck first against Ikeda and Shiota, winning the opening game 21-19. The Japanese faught back in the second, but the Indonesian’s had two chances to win the match in the second game, only to squander them and allow the match to be levelled at 1-1 as the Japanese pair took the second game 25-23. The Indonesian’s response in the 3rd game was nothing but positive, refusing to let the Japanese pair close the gap as the match time ticked well past the 60 minute mark before clinching the match 21-14 in the deciding game in a stunning 83-minute match to book Indonesia’s place in the last 4, with the entire tie taking more than four and a half hours to complete.
The other quarter final played today was a much more straightforward encounter, as Denmark took on Chinese Taipei for a chance to play Indonesia in the last 4. The Danes started the strongest, with a win from Pedersen and Fischer Neilsen in two games to set Denmark on their way. Peter Gade doubled the lead, after losing the opening game to Hsueh Hsuan Yi but eventually came through in three games in a match that took exactly one hour.
The world #1 pairing of Boe and Mogensen had the chance to secure a 3-0 victory for Denmark but they were defeated by the world #6 pairing of Fang and Lee in an exceptionally tight three game match, with the Chinese Taipei pair taking the match 22-20, 21-23, 21-18 in 70 minutes to send the tie to the fourth match. Tine Baun was given the chance to close out the match like Boe and Mogensen, but after losing the opening game to Tai Tzu Ying expectation of a deciding match begun to creep into the Danish squad. Tine Baun responded to level the match at one game all before completing Denmark’s progression into the semi finals with a 13-21, 21-16, 21-14 victory to book a semi final clash against Indonesia.
The host nation progressed into the semi final stage of the Sudirman Cup, whilst there was a surprise in the second quarter final as Korea defeated a Malaysian team that broke up the best men’s doubles partnership in the world to try and win two matches and defeat the Koreans.
Koo and Chin took on the Korean pair of Ko and Ha in the opening mixed doubles match in what looked like a calculated risk by Malaysia to win the opening match of the quarter final. However the Korean’s were too strong and took an early 1-0 lead in the rubber, winning 21-17, 21-17. Lee Chong Wei evened the score back up at 1-1 with a two game victory over Park Sung Hwan and then took a 2-1 lead as Tan partnered Hoon in an impressive three game victory over Lee and Jung to put Malaysia within one match of the semi finals.
Bae Youn Joo had other ideas, as she leveled the rubber at 2-2 with a two game victory over Tee Jing Yi. That left it up to Ha and Kim of Korea and Chin and Wong of Malaysia to ensure victory for their nation. They both exchanged a game each, leaving it down to a one game decider to clinch a place in the last 4 and it was the Korean’s who progressed with Ha and Kim winning the deciding game 21-10 to reach the last 4.
China were overwhelmingly expected to progress in their match over India, even if Saina Newhal was to beat one of the Chinese girls in the singles. They started perfectly with Cai and Fu winning the opening match in less than 30 minutes, but Wang Xin came undone against Saina Newhal and tamely lost in two games to the Indian to tie the rubber at 1-1. This was China’s second defeat in the women’s singles with Wang Shixian losing to Juliane Schenk in the group stage.
Lin Dan was quick to put China back in front with a two game victory and it was left to the doubles partnership of Wang and Yu to clinch the rubber for China, a partnership that had never lost to a non-Chinese pairing to date. Their 21-8, 21-13 victory was an expected victory as the host nation progressed into the semi final against Korea on Saturday.
Question marks over China’s women’s singles will buoy Korea’s chances in the semi final, with Korea defeating China in the Uber Cup final in 2010. Cai and Fu take on Lee and Jung again in what could be a deciding match on who progresses into Sunday’s final or it could be the mixed doubles match that decides this rubber.
Sudirman Cup 2011 Day 1
12 have been cut to just 8 as the group stages have been completed in the top tier of this years Sudirman Cup.
Group A was home to the host nation China and they failed to disappoint, winning both games against Japan (5-0) and Germany (4-1)to secure top spot in the group. Japan’s 4-1 win over Germany secured second place in the group but both of Germany’s victories came by the way of Juliane Schenk in the women’s singles, defeating Eriko Hirose and Wang Shixian in her matches.
Group B was over for Russia on Monday night with defeats to Malaysia and Indonesia that set up a winner take all match on Wednesday night to see who would top the group. Malaysia took an early 2-1 lead with victories in the men’s doubles through Koo and Tan before going to the brink of victory with Lee Chong Wei’s win in the singles. However Indonesia faught back to take the womens and mixed doubles and snatch a 3-2 victory to top Group B.
Chinese Taipei topped Group C by the narrowest of margins, winning their matches against both India and Thailand 3-2. India finished second in the group even with Saina Nehwal’s defeat in the Thailand match, a match that India claimed victory by 3 matches to 2 to book their place in the last 8.
Group D seen Korea top the group with a comfortable 4-1 win over England before defeating Denmark in the final match of the group in the final rubber of the match as Ha and Kim beat Ropke and Kruse to give Korea a 3-2 victory and top spot, leaving Denmark to settle for second place in the group.
Tomorrow sees the opening two quarter final matches, with Korea taking on Malaysia and the mouthwatering prospect of Koo and Tan taking on Lee and Jung in the men’s doubles. Neither men’s singles player for Korea has won a match this week and that looks all the more like to remain the same with Lee Chong Wei in their path. Malaysia’s main concern is in the mixed doubles, where they have failed to record a victory in their group and the Korean’s claiming two victories in this event.
The other quarter final sees China take on India in what is expected to be a one-sided matchup. Saina Newhal could claim an unlikely point in the women’s singles but events like the women’s doubles and men’s singles are expected to be landslide victories for the Chinese.
Group A-D Results: