Japan showed their all-round strength this afternoon, sweeping aside Singapore 5-0 in a Level 1 Group D tie of the Li-Ning BWF Sudirman Cup.
In the other ties, Indonesia beat India 4-1 (Level 1 Group A); Ukraine blanked the Philippines 5-0 (Level 3 Group A); New Zealand fought back against Sri Lanka from 1-2 down to win 3-2 (Level 3 Group A), while the Netherlands were untroubled by Austria 5-0 (Level 2 Group B).
Japan would have expected a stiffer challenge from Singapore, but it was not to be. After Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa made it 1-0 for Japan (Men’s Doubles) by beating Chrisnanta Danny Bawa/Terry Zhao 21-7 21-18, neither of Singapore’s singles players could prevent the washout. World No. 24 Gu Juan was beaten by No. 10 Minatsu Mitani 21-10 21-19 in Women’s Singles, while in Men’s Singles, Derek Wong mounted some resistance, taking Takuma Ueda (Japan) the distance in a one-hour match, but Ueda prevailed 21-18 13-21 21-15.
Women’s Doubles No. 2 Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi built on the 3-0 cushion by overcoming Yao Lei/Shinta Mulia Sari 21-9 21-15, and Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Miyuki Maeda (featured image) ensured a 5-0 result, winning a close match against Chrisnanta Danny Bawa/Vanessa Neo 16-21 21-12 21-19 (Mixed Doubles).
India found themselves 0-1 down after losing the Men’s Doubles to Indonesia, but they would have expected PV Sindhu to get the better of Lindaweni Fanetri in Women’s Singles. Sindhu had a 2-1 head-to-head record going into the match, but Fanetri stamped her dominance early and ensured a 2-0 lead for Indonesia with a 21-15 21-10 victory. Kashyap Parupalli kept hopes alive for India by beating Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka 21-18 21-14 (Men’s Singles).
Ashwini Ponnappa and Pradnya Gadre would have fancied their chances against the non-regular combination of Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, but the Indonesians emerged victorious 21-19 22-20 to seal the tie. Recent India Open champions Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir made it 4-1 for Indonesia by claiming the Mixed Doubles over Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan 21-13 21-14.
* For Li-Ning BWF Sudirman Cup 2013 schedule and results, click here.