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.
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