Netherlands Fight Back From Brink – Sudirman Cup ‘19

Thursday, May 23, 2019
TEXT BY TOM LEONARD | BADMINTONPHOTO

Netherlands produced a stirring comeback from 0-2 down against Germany to seal 15th place at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 on Thursday.

Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel opened proceedings with a relentless attack taking the first match 21-13 21-14 against Jacco Arends/Ruben Jille.

Fabienne Deprez made it 2-0 for Germany.

Left-hander Fabienne Deprez doubled the advantage for Germany, producing an array of deceptive shots to see off the challenge from Gayle Mahulette, 18-21 21-18 21-13.

Mark Caljouw was able to steady the ship for the Netherlands powering past Alexander Roovers 21-13 21-9. His victory proved pivotal in changing the momentum of the tie.

In a decisive move, Mahulette then backed up to form a fresh women’s doubles combination alongside Cheryl Seinen to surprise Linda Efler and Lara Kaepplein of Germany, 18-21 21-10 21-17, to make it 2-2 for Netherlands.

Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek sealed the tie for Netherlands.

Germany had split up regular mixed doubles pair of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich and fielded Marvin Seidel with Herttrich. The gamble didn’t pay off as they lost 16-21 21-17 21-11 to Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek.

Piek said afterwards: “We didn’t expect to play as we weren’t sure about the women’s doubles, but it’s great to get the win for our country and ourselves.”

Consolation for Singapore

Singapore got the better of Vietnam 3-0 to win fifth place in Group 2 and 17th overall.

Loh Kean Hean/Han Zhuo Toh gave Singapore the lead in men’s doubles, and Yeo Jia Min made it 2-0 beating Nguyen Thuy Linh in women’s singles.

The men’s singles clash between Loh Kean Yew and Nguyen Tien Minh turned out to be a thriller. It was a battle of long exchanges, with 36-year-old Nguyen turning on his typical rallying style that left Loh doubled over in between points. To his credit, the Singaporean kept going, surviving a match point to clinch the tie: 16-21 21-18 23-21.

Loh Kean Yew celebrates after a marathon men’s singles win over Nguyen Tien Minh.

“It’s always tough against him,” said Loh. “It’s tiring to play him. His endurance is very good. I feel quite happy for myself, that I contributed to the team. We fought hard all the way, it’s a good effort by the team.”

In another Group 2 tie for 19th place, USA were easy winners over Israel, 3-1. Misha Zilberman picked up the sole point for Israel, beating Timothy Lam 21-15 21-12.

Iris Wang (back) and Paula Lynn Obanana helped USA beat Israel 3-1.

Macau emerged on top of Group 4 with their second win in the three-nation group, edging past Kazakhstan 3-2 to win 29th place overall.

Gong Xue Xin/Ng Weng Chi gave Macau the winning point in women’s doubles after the two teams were tied at two wins each.

Talking Point

“I noticed he was standing really far forward to receive serve, so I thought I’d try and catch him off guard. But it turned out I caught myself off guard,” – Loh Kean Yew, after beating Nguyen Tien Minh.

The Equation

After topping their sub-groups, France and Canada will clash to determine the top of Group 2 and positions 13 and 14. That match starts at 6pm tomorrow.

Group 2 Final Standings

15 – Netherlands

16 – Germany

17 – Singapore

18 – Vietnam

19 – USA

20 – Israel

Group 4 Final Standings

29 – Macau

30 – Kazakhstan

31 – Greenland