Denmark got off to a strong start beating Hong Kong China 4-1 in an opening Group B encounter of the Li-Ning BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014 today.
The other tie from the same group ended with Japan easing past England with an identical score. In Uber Cup Group X, Indonesia and Korea blanked Australia and Singapore with identical 5-0 scores. Singapore however pushed Korea harder than the 5-0 score suggested.
England had their chances against the favoured Japanese, but just couldn’t capitalise. Rajiv Ouseph stormed to a 21-9 first game win over Kenichi Tago in their first singles encounter. Ouseph looked sharp and decisive even as Tago appeared shaky and under pressure. The England player had match point in the second, but Tago kept his nerve and evaded his rival’s grasp; the third game was won comfortably: 9-21 22-20 21-13.
England again had a glimmer of hope in the following Men’s Doubles match. Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis equalled a first game deficit against Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa, but were overpowered in the third: 21-7 18-21 21-8.
Japan clinched the tie in the second singles, a match featuring two young players. Kento Momota (right) overpowered Rhys Walker 21-10 21-14 to make it 3-0.
England earned a consolation victory when Chris Langridge/Peter Mills breezed past Noriyasu Hirata/Hirokatsu Hashimoto in the second doubles, 21-10 21-13, before Japan wrapped up the tie 4-1 with Takuma Ueda dominating Sam Parsons, 21-9 21-7.
England coach Dave Lindley said Ouseph’s loss had robbed the team of momentum.
“We feel we had chances in some of the games. Ouseph had match point in the singles, if we had got that point he would have put us in a good position. We had some chances in the first doubles too. If we’d won those matches we’d have given ourselves a shout. But credit to the Japanese, they came out strong.”
Denmark emerged comfortable winners over Hong Kong China despite the absence of doubles stalwart Mathias Boe. Jan O Jorgensen led the way in the first singles with a rout of Hu Yu, 21-11 21-16.
“I followed the plan. It was a good first experience for me, just getting used to the conditions. Hu Yun can be tricky, but I had the right tactics, taking the net from him and making him work hard for the points,” said Jorgensen.
Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding stepped up to their role of heading the doubles challenge by outclassing Ng Ka Long/Law Cheuk Him 21-17 21-14.
Hong Kong China sprang a surprise in the second singles. Wei Nan (left) made light of the 20-place ranking difference with No.15 Viktor Axelsen. Wei never let off the attack through the match, winning the match with surprising ease over the Swiss Open champion, 21-14 21-16.
Joachim Fischer Nielsen admirably filled in for Mathias Boe as the duo ground out a hard-fought victory over Tang Chun Man/Lee Chun Hei in the second doubles, 21-13 19-21 21-16.
Denmark got an unexpected bonus in the third singles tie. Young Emil Holst, ranked 53, punched above his weight against No.32 Wong Wing Ki and brought down the higher-ranked player, 21-14 15-21 21-9.
* Singapore were unlucky to finish 0-5 against Korea. Asian champion Sung Ji Hyun won a narrow first singles against Chen Jiayuan (right), 21-16 15-21 21-18. Bae Yeon Ju made it 2-0 beating Liang Xiaoyu 21-8 21-16, but the following match was much tighter. Doubles specialist Fu Mingtian gave a good account of herself in the third singles against Kim Hyo Min before going down, 13-21 21-19 21-16. Jang Ye Na/Kim So Young had it easy against Yao Lei/Shinta Mulia Sari, 21-16 21-13. The final match again was a tight contest, with Jung Kyung Eun/Kim Ha Na prevailing over Vanessa Neo/Fu Mingtian 21-15 20-22 21-16.
* Indonesia were comfortable all through against Australia, losing just one game in five matches. Lindaweni Fanetri beat Tara Pilven 21-16 21-11 in the first singles. Australia’s Tang He Tian/Renuga Veeran gave the Indonesians something to think about by clinching the second game against Rizki Amelia Pradipta/Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth, but the Indonesians proved superior in the end, 21-15 17-21 21-8. Bellaetrix Manuputty took 23 minutes to get past Verdet Kessler, 21-12 21-12, before Adrianti Firdasari made it 4-0 by beating Joy Lai 21-10 21-12. Indonesia completed the rout when Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah/Suci Rizki Andini made it past Verdet Kessler/Jacqueline Guan, 21-10 21-9.