China, Korea Enter Semi-finals – Vivo BWF Sudirman Cup Day 5 Session 2

Korea avenged their group defeat to Malaysia, while China once again eased past Germany in the quarter-finals of the Vivo BWF Sudirman Cup today.

Korea’s 3-1 win was set up by Men’s Doubles stars Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong (below), who reversed their previous defeat to Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong. The early part of the match was nearly identical to the previous match, with Goh and Tan setting a frenetic pace that the Koreans struggled to handle. After they edged the Malaysians out, however, Lee and Koo gradually reasserted themselves with Lee once again expertly controlling the proceedings. The luck of the net cord didn’t go Malaysia’s way either, and the Koreans comfortably pulled through 21-18 21-16.

“They changed the game plan, they were playing softer,” Tan said.

“We were confident after beating them in the group, but we have to improve our consistency. We have to play high quality every time. We were a bit unlucky in the second game and that affected us.”

Tee Jing Yi fought an inspired battle in the first game against Sung Ji Hyun in Women’s Singles. After 15-all, however, she fell behind, and withered early in the second, falling behind 0-7 and unable to challenge Sung (21-17 21-12).

Malaysia’s hopes were resurrected through Lee Chong Wei, who produced another masterclass in dismantling Son Wan Ho to keep his team alive in the contest.

The Malaysian showed no sign of rust despite being away from the game for eight months. Son matched him point for point through the first game, but at 17-all, Lee turned it around. Diving left and right to return certain winners, Lee frustrated Son into committing the final error and shot ahead to take the game. The distance grew in the second with Son unable to keep pace. Lee made it 1-2 with his 21-17 21-12 result.

“I’m satisfied with my game, although I’m still around 80 percent,” Lee said.

“We were down 0-2 after the first two matches but we had to keep fighting. I’m very grateful to the audience for the reception I got.”

Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei raised Malaysia’s hopes with a first-game win over Chang Ye Na/Jung Kyung Eun, but the Korean Women’s Doubles pair eventually proved too strong, 21-23 21-16 21-11.

China produced yet another authoritative display in dismissing Germany 3-0. Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels were unable to stop Zhang Nan (featured image)/Zhao Yunlei and the hosts went up 1-0 in the Mixed Doubles in 35 minutes. Lin Dan walked in to thunderous applause and the home superstar duly completed the job for China by overpowering Marc Zwiebler 21-12 21-15, before Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan closed it out with equal ease against Michael Fuchs/Peter Kaesbauer in Men’s Doubles.

“It is very difficult to play Lin Dan and beat him in China,” said Zwiebler.

“I played a bit better than in my previous match but it wasn’t good enough. There was a bit of drift in the hall but with his experience and skill he was able to control the shuttle.  We did the best we could but we were unlucky to draw China in the quarter-finals.”

In group 2 play-offs, France edged past Singapore (3-2), Spain outclassed USA (3-1) and Canada proved too good for Brazil (3-1). It was the Women’s Doubles pair of Emilie Lefel and Anne Tran (above) that ensured victory for France, beating Elaine Chua/Vanessa Neo 20-22 21-16 21-12.

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