Monday, May 19, 2014
Text by Dev Sukumar | BADMINTONPHOTO
Brice Leverdez inspired France to an upset over Chinese Taipei in the men’s Group D at the Li-Ning BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014 today.
Leverdez won his singles and doubles (with Lucas Corvee) to edge Taipei out 3-2 in a cliff-hanger. China cruised 5-0 over Russia in the same group, while in Group Y, India and Thailand proved their superiority over Hong Kong China and Canada with scores of 4-1 and 5-0 respectively.
Leverdez brilliantly handled his twin responsibilities in singles and second doubles. He held off Chou Tien Chen in the opening match, coming from behind to cinch the final game in a tightly-fought match, 21-19 11-21 21-19.
Hsu Jen Hao levelled scores for Taipei, overcoming Lucas Corvee in another three-game encounter, 17-21 21-16 21-10. Tseng Min Hao and Liao Min Chun swung the tie Taipei’s way with a comfortable 22-20 21-13 verdict over Gaetan Mittelheisser/Bastian Kersaudy, 22-20 21-13.
The second singles was again as tight as the first. Thomas Rouxel (featured image) edged past Taipei’s Shih Kuei Chun in the second and third games to bring France back into the tie: 20-22 21-19 21-19.
It was up to Leverdez and Corvee (above) again, but few would have given the No.54-ranked Frenchmen a chance against No.5 pair Tsai Chia Hsin/Lee Sheng Mu. The Taipei pair has been in form this season, having made the final of the Singapore Open Superseries and the semi-finals of the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold.
However, the Frenchmen made light of the difference in ranking with a stunning 21-14 13-21 21-14 result.
* Russia’s men sparkled on occasions in their tie against China. Vladimir Malkov (above) and Anton Ivanov, despite losing their singles to Chen Long and Du Pengyu respectively in straight games, had their moments with their aggressive game. Russia came closest to bagging a point when European champions Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov matched Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan until late in the third game, but the Chinese kept their slate clean with a 19-21 21-17 21-18 victory.
* India’s had a surprisingly easy tie against Hong Kong China in Group Y. Saina Nehwal (right), Ashwini Ponnappa/Jwala Gutta and Sindhu PV made it 3-0 for India before Chan Tsz Ka and Tse Ying Suet earned a consolation win for Hong Kong China over Sikki Reddy/Pradnya Gadre.
* Thailand were similarly untroubled by Canada. Porntip Buranaprasertsuk led the Thai challenge in place of Ratchanok Intanon and earned the first point against Joycelyn Ko, 21-8 21-10. Canada were able to take a game off Thailand in the second doubles, but Sapsiree Taerattanachai/Puttita Supajirakul shrugged off the setback against Grace Gao/Rachael Honderich, 21-15 21-23 21-14.
For today’s results, click here.