It doesn’t get better than seeing your country safely through a sticky tie on home ground in the company of your best friend.
For Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn, who sealed Denmark’s Uber Cup Group D tie over Malaysia, the trust they have in each other as childhood friends and doubles partners has given them the edge in their rise to becoming their country’s No.2 pair.
The two 21-year-olds got together some ten years ago and have remained doubles partners since then, and are currently world No.25. On the opening day of the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020, with an energetic crowd urging them on, they beat Teoh Mei Xing and Yap Ling to hand Denmark the vital third point in their tie, thereby taking a big step towards making the quarterfinals.
“It was pretty intense and we were very nervous at the end. I don’t know what went through our heads, we were just fighting all the time. It was not very tactical, but the audience helped us,” said Ravn.
The Malaysians, who too were playing a major event for the first time, gave a good account of their abilities and had their chances to take the second game, before the Danes turned it around at the end.
“It’s amazing, the crowd was cheering for us, and we could hear them all the time, and I also think that’s why we won the second game, it was very close and it wasn’t that pretty in there. But we kept fighting, we knew that we couldn’t disappoint the crowd and the team, and they really meant a lot to us in there,” added Magelund. “We’re very happy to win this match, also because it was close, so it meant a lot more to us.”
Magelund and Ravn are among Denmark’s young generation of players tasting major event competition such as the Uber Cup for the first time. The two believe it is their relationship outside the court that has helped them get this far so quickly.
“We’ve played together for 10 years, from junior to senior days. We’ve always been together. We’re really good friends off the court also, so we can talk to each other about everything and if we’re stressed on court we can tell each other and we try to help each other as much as we can,” says Magelund.
Ravn claims they can “read each other’s thoughts”, helping them instinctively combine on court.
“Knowing each other so well, we know how to get into each other’s thoughts. Sometimes it can be hard with new partners in the club, because you don’t know the other person that much. I think it’s a huge part of our game, that we know each other so well.”
For Malaysia, despite losing 1-4, there would have been encouragement in the performances of their young squad. Twenty-year-old Eoon Qi Xuan, ranked No.123 to Line Christophersen’s No.23, beat the Dane in three games to hand a point to Malaysia.
Avihingsanon Saves the Day for Thailand
The most significant result in the morning session was Thailand’s 3-2 win over Chinese Taipei in Group A of the Thomas Cup. With Group A being the Group of Death, Thailand’s did themselves a big favour by snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Suppanyu Avihingsanon was the hero of Thailand’s win, overcoming two match points in the second game to turn the tables on Chi Yu Jen, 11-21 25-23 21-12, handing Thailand the third point after both teams were even at two wins.
“I couldn’t keep up with his speed in the opening game,” said Avihingsanon. “I tried to get him to play my game, and he slowed down a bit. In my career, I have played third singles many times and I can handle the pressure.”
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