Denmark’s women escaped from a tight spot against Malaysia in a Group Z match of the Li-Ning BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals today.
The Danes just about scraped through 3-2, but group favourites Japan had no such problems as they blanked Germany 5-0. In the men’s section, Korea proved too strong for India, winning 3-2, while Malaysia registered a 4-1 score over Germany in Group C.
The Denmark-Malaysia Uber Cup match was poised on a fine edge all through. With Denmark having superior doubles pairs, Malaysia’s chances lay in securing the three singles against their inexperienced opponents.
Tee Jing Yi set Malaysia on the right path, closing out her opening singles against Line Kjaersfeldt 21-14 22-20.
Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl paid Malaysia back in the same coin, taking just 33 minutes to destroy the challenge of Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei, 21-17 21-10.
The pivotal singles match between Denmark’s Anna Thea Madsen (above) and Yang Li Liang turned out to be a cracker of a match, ending in a climactic tussle. Madsen, playing with confidence despite her inexperience, surged to a 19-15 lead, but then watched Yang claw level. The Dane kept her head to nail the last two points and give her team a 2-1 lead.
Although Marie Roepke and Line Damkjaer Kruse (BWF home page) were ahead of Lee Meng Yean/Lim Yin Loo in ranking and experience, the Malaysians gave them a fright. They stuck close to the Danes in the third game and were tied at 19-all, but Kruse and Roepke shot past them in the end to clinch the match 19-21 21-16 21-19.
The last match featured two youngsters – Sandra Maria Jensen against Malaysia’s Lim Yin Fun. The match was as tense as the preceding ones and as it drew to a close, the tension started to show with both finding it difficult to keep the shuttle in play.
Ultimately, it was Jensen’s reluctance to attack under pressure that did her in and Lim emerged victorious, 21-15 14-21 21-19.
“I was very nervous towards the end and I was struggling to control the shuttle,” admitted Lim.
* Japan’s all-round strength powered them past Germany, with only the opening singles offering some solace to the Germans. Karin Schnaase took a game off Minatsu Mitani (above), but it was all downhill from there for the Germans. World Junior champion Akane Yamaguchi completed the formalities for Japan by beating Alina Hammes 21-9 21-17.
* India’s tie against Korea hinged on the opening singles between Srikanth Kidambi and Son Wan Ho. With Korea packing too large a punch in their doubles, India had to win all the three singles matches. Srikanth had a 2-0 record going into the match, but he couldn’t pull it off today. Son held him off, 17-21 21-12 21-18, and even though Kashyap Parupalli won the second singles over Lee Dong Keun to make it 1-2 for India, Korea wrapped up the tie when Kim Ki Jung/Kim Sa Rang blitzed Akshay Dewalkar/Pranaav Jerry Chopra, 21-16 21-16.
* Malaysia clinched their second match in a row beating Germany 4-1, but the tie was closer than the score suggested. Lee Chong Wei was untroubled by Marc Zwiebler, but Tan Boon Heong/Tan Wee Kiong were tested by Johannes Schoettler/Michael Fuchs in three close games. Chong Wei Feng (above) then pulled off a great escape against Dieter Domke from 13-19 and match point down in the second game before edging past in the third, 19-21 22-20 23-21.
For today’s results, click here.