After Denmark shattered the hopes of England by completing a stunning form reversal in defeating Indonesia 3-2 and qualifying for the final eight, the Danes then suffered the ultimate blow by drawing 10-time champions China in the quarterfinals.
The final eight draw of the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 took place in Nanning, China, late on Wednesday with the hosts breathing easy after they were paired with Denmark.
Second seeds Japan face Malaysia, Indonesia will hope to bounce back against Chinese Taipei and defending champions Korea look to keep their quest of back-to-back Sudirman Cups alive with a quarterfinal showdown against Thailand, whom they beat in the semifinal two years ago on the Gold Coast.
First and second seeds China and Japan were the first nations drawn, slotting in at the top and bottom half of the draw. Third and fourth seeds Indonesia and Korea were also placed in each half.
Denmark was the next name out and all enthusiasm following their remarkable victory just hours earlier soon disappeared as they now face the unenviable task of knocking off the tournament hosts.
Thailand has revenge on its mind as they seek redemption from their 3-1 semifinal loss to Korea two years. Also drawing a familiar foe was Malaysia, who again take on Japan in the quarterfinals.
Malaysia and Japan faced each other twice on the Gold Coast, once in the group stage and then again in the quarterfinals. New regulations introduced in 2018 now stipulate that no team can face an opponent from the group phase again in the knockout phase.
This was of little consolation for Malaysia, however, with the young squad up against it in the form of the tournament favourites.
Indonesia and Chinese Taipei round out the fixtures in what should be a tight affair with both nations coming off 3-2 losses following their opening victories.
TOTAL BWF SUDIRMAN CUP 2019
6pm Thursday 23 May
China vs. Denmark
Korea vs. Thailand
11am Friday 24 May
Japan vs. Malaysia
Indonesia vs. Chinese Taipei