England’s women pulled off a surprise 3-2 win over Chinese Taipei in Group W at the Li-Ning BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014 today.
The upset was among the highlights of a session in which Korea’s men were nearly upstaged by Germany but survived with a 3-2 margin. Their Group C counterparts Malaysia outplayed India 4-1, while in Group W of the Uber Cup, China blanked Russia 5-0.
Chinese Taipei were without No.7 Tai Tzu Ying, and her absence showed. Pai Hsiao Ma led the charge for Chinese Taipei against England’s Fontaine Mica Chapman (featured image). The match was closely contested in the first but Chapman exerted her authority in the second to take the match 22-20 21-9.
Gabrielle Adcock and Lauren Smith had lost an earlier match to Cheng Wen Hsing/Hsieh Pei Chen, but the England duo turned it around this time to prevail: 15-21 21-15 21-13.
Lee Chia Hsin reduced the deficit for Chinese Taipei by beating Sarah Walker in three games but she could not prevent England from taking the tie as Heather Olver/Kate Robertshaw decimated Wang Pei Rong/ Kuo Yu Wen 21-13 21-13. Pai Yu Po won the final singles for Chinese Taipei against Nicola Cerfontyne.
Korea’s men nearly suffered the fate of Chinese Taipei’s women. Marc Zwiebler gave the Germans a sound start beating Son Wan Ho 21-18 21-17. Then Michael Fuchs/Johannes Shoettler nearly ambushed Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong, eventually faltering late in the match: 21-11 8-21 21-19.
Dieter Domke (above) made it 2-1 for Germany beating Lee Dong Keun. Korea’s depth in doubles came to their rescue, with Kim Ki Jung/Kim Sa Rang holding off Andreas Heinz/Max Schwenger in 33 minutes and Hwang Jong Soo wrapping up the win beating Lukas Schmidt 21-15 21-16.
* China began their title defence of the Uber Cup with a 5-0 whitewash of Russia in Group W. Li Xuerui was held up by Natalia Perminova in the first game but duly completed the rout 21-17 21-10 in the opening singles match. Wang Yihan made it 2-0 with a 21-13 21-13 verdict over Anastasia Chervaykova. Sun Yu clinched the tie beating Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-11 21-9 in under 30 minutes. Bao Yixin/Tang Jinhua and Olympic champions Zhao Yunlei/Tian Qing were similarly untroubled by their doubles opponents.
* India fell short to Malaysia in a Group C match of the Thomas Cup. World No.1 Lee Chong Wei gave Malaysia a 1-0 lead with a characteristic display of pace and precision against Srikanth K. Tan Boon Heong/Hoon Thien How were again too strong for Sumeeth Reddy/Manu Attri. After the next two matches went Malaysia’s way, the attention shifted to Guru Sai Dutt (left) against Daren Liew. The tenacious Sai Dutt made Liew pay for his inconsistent play and surged to a 18-21 21-13 21-19 win in over an hour.
”I’m glad I pulled off this match,” Sai Dutt said. “I’ve lost many matches from close positions in the third game. Even though it did not alter the result of the tie, I was determined to win because it might make a difference to our group standings.”