Denmark, their Thomas Cup hopes in tatters, stitched up a sensational turnaround against Korea from three match points down.
The Danes were 1-2 down when Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Frederik SØgaard faced three match points against Choi Sol Gyu/Kim Won Ho, but staged the unlikely escape to level the tie. Rasmus Gemke then took them into the semifinals beating Kim Yun Gyu, a player ranked 591 places below him.
Tough All The Way
The Danes, favourites to win the tie, ran into a Korean team that punched above its weight. Viktor Axelsen, who has been in formidable form in recent months, needed all his experience to stave off Heo Kwang Hee, winning the match 21-19 in the third.
Korea levelled in the first doubles through Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae; Jeon Hyeok Jin then delivered the upset of the day with a straight games result over Anders Antonsen.
Korea continued to ride on that momentum, with Choi and Kim on the brink of the upset, but three match points came and went, and the Koreans would be left to rue their missed chances.
“They made it difficult for us and we made a heroic comeback in the second,” said Rasmussen. “We found an extra gear. We really enjoy these team events with all our teammates and staff going crazy, so really a huge performance by the whole team.”
First Semifinals in 42 Years
India made their first semifinals in 42 years beating Malaysia 3-2.
HS Prannoy got India’s third point beating Leong Jun Hao, to take the Indians into the semifinals for only the fourth time, after 1952, 1955 and 1979.
“A lot of emotions,” said Prannoy. “This is one tournament when we’ve never done well. There are a lot of reasons, but this time it was one of the best teams for us to come to the Thomas Cup. Everybody is stepping up. We all want the next generation to see that we’re up there in the world. In a team event we’re always written off, but we told each other we’ll fight until the end and play what we’re capable of.”
Indonesia Blank China
China failed to make the semifinals of the Thomas Cup for only the second time since their debut in 1982, falling to Indonesia in a repeat of the last Thomas Cup final.
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who had lost all his three previous matches this week, finally showed spark in an 80-minute long opening brawl with Zhao Jun Peng, during which he missed three match points in the second game.
The scratch pair of Mohammad Ahsan/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, who were fielded against Korea on Wednesday, were once against pencilled in as first doubles, and they looked far more potent against Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi. It was then up to Jonatan Christie to repeat the job that he had done in Aarhus last year.
Facing the same opponent, Li Shi Feng, Christie kept things tight and wrapped it up in 52 minutes, 21-13 21-18.