Day two had the remaining teams play their opening matches, as well as the arrival of Nigeria’s men’s team to the competition, albeit a day later than expected.
Korean booked their place in the last 8 with a 5-0 win over Peru, meaning that China also qualify from Group Ar after their 5-0 win yesterday over the South Americans. Tomorrow’s match sets up to be a winner-take-all between Korea and China to see who tops the group. Japan is also through to the last 8 after defeating Nigeria 5-0, who arrived for this group match unlike yesterdays forfeit over Malaysia. The Nigerian’s failed to win a single game in any of the 5 matches against a relentless Japanese side. Hosts Malaysia will play tomorrow against the Japanese to determine the group winner, as well as the anticipated rematch between Kenichi Tago and Lee Chong Wei.
Germany defeated Poland 5-0 to dump the Poles out of the tournament, setting up a Zwiebler – Gade rematch tomorrow in the final Group C match to find out the group winner. Dieter Domke also has to continue his excellent form to stand a chance against Jan O Jorgensen in the second singles match tomorrow. Indonesia easily disposed of India in the Group D encounter, winning the match 4-1 overall but the main news from the match is Sony Dwi Kuncoro’s retirement in his singles against Arvind Bhatt, with the Indonesian player suffering a back injury in the second game of his match. India and Australia will play in the final group match tomorrow, with the winner progressing into the final 8.
Malaysia’s women started their campaign with a comfortable 5-0 win over the USA, conceding just two games in their victory. Both China and Malaysia are through from Group A, but will play tomorrow in the final league match to determine the top spot in the group,
Group B seen Denmark take on Australia, with the European powerhouses expected to coast into the last 8 with a comfortable victory. It started well for them with Camilla Sorensen’s two game victory over Erica Pong, but the next hour was a disaster for the Danes, with Karina Jorgensen losing to Renuga Veeran 20-22, 13-21 and then Mette Poulsen’s stunning collapse to Chia Chi Huang 11-21, 5-21 gave Australia an unlikely 2-1 lead. Pedersen and Rytter Juhl were needed to win just to keep Denmark in the rubber, 28 minutes later, the score was level at 2-2 with a 21-12, 21-19 victory for the Danish pair. Kristiansen and Ropke played the final match for Denmark against Tan and Huang of Australia, it resulted in the longest match of the five, but the Danes came through in two games, winning 21-13, 21-16 to book their place in the last 8, eliminating Australia but leaves a big question mark over Denmark’s credentials in the competition.
Juliane Schenk continued her run of good form to give Germany another lead today, this time against Russia as Schenk defeated Ella Diehl 21-16, 21-13 to give Germany a 1-0 lead in the rubber. It was the only lead that the Germans would have, as Bibik and Prokopenko thrust Russia into a 2-1 lead with tight victories over Schnaase and Deprez of Germany. Sorokina and Vislova made it 3-1 with a two game victory over Overzier and Schenk and the new partnership of Diehl and Russkikh completed the rout with a two game victory to book Russia’s place in the last 8.
India’s women had a better day than their male counterparts, defeating South Africa 5-0 to book their place in the last 8. Saina Newhal was on court less than 20 minutes in her victory over Kerry-Lee Harrington, with the remaining four matches taking just 79 minutes to be completed. India take on Korea tomorrow to determine top spot in the group.
With the cancellation of the Estonian International last week the Swedish International is the first EBU tournament of the new year, and a strong field is in play after a short holiday break.
While the Danes may be upset with the loss of Jan O Jorgensen across the globe in Malaysia, they have reason to maintain their hope for the future today. Another young rising star seems to be coming up the ranks as Viktor Axelsen fought his way past Sweden’s top player Henri Hurskainen in three long games, and then also defeated his compatriot Sune Gavnholt in two tight games to book himself a place in the quarter-finals. In the next round he will have to face off against another Dane Kasper Ipsen. A strong performance in his first ever EBU event.
Perhaps the upset of the day comes with Finnish Ville Lang the second seed falling to Swedish qualifier Mattias Borg in two relatively quick games 21-13, 21-14, only to lose the next round to another Finnish player Eeto Heino.
Chinese qualifier Rong Bo is back at it again after a strong performance last month in Ireland. Today she defeated 8th seeded Chloe Magee and Alesia Zaltsava to earn her quarter-final place against Tatjana Bibik.
While the Danes are fairing well in the mens the women are struggling a bit more. The only Danish woman left is Camilla Sorensen who managed to upset the second seed Maja Tvrdy in three games 21-15, 15-21, 21-11, and then followed that up with another win over Japan’s Mizuho Muramatsu 21-16, 16-21, 21-16 to make it to the quarter-finals against England’s Elizabeth Cann.