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Badminton: Japan to play S. Korea in Uber Cup semis after easy wins, no surprises in Thomas Cup too


AARHUS, DENMARK (XINHUA) – Defending Uber Cup champions Japan and South Korea both coasted to straight-forward 3-0 victories in Thursday’s (Oct 14) quarter-finals and will meet in Friday’s semi-finals.

Japan, who won their first women’s badminton team title in 37 years in Thailand in 2018, took the first two singles and opening doubles matches without the loss of a single game in their tie against India, with the second doubles and third singles not played.

In the other tie, South Korea had it only slightly tougher against hosts Denmark – An Se-young being taken to a deciding game in the opening singles by Mia Blichfeldt.

The two night last-eight ties pitted 14-time champions China against underdogs Chinese Taipei and a much-tighter contest between 2018 runners-up Thailand and three-time winners Indonesia.

In the men’s Thomas Cup, defending champions China beat India 3-1 in the final round of group play at the Ceres Arena to top Group C, with the losers also making the quarter-finals.

Shi Yuqi gave his team a perfect start by outplaying Srikanth Kidambi 21-12, 21-16, after having been on the sidelines during the previous two rounds.

“Compared with other players, we are less experienced,” he said. “I want to contribute more to my team and ease the pressure on my teammates. I believe chances will be on our side if every one of us tries hard.”

China’s new pair of He Jiting and Zhou Haodong lost to Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 14-21, 14-21 in the second doubles match, marking China’s first defeat in the group stage and tying the score at 1-1.

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“We did not do well most of the time today, but our opponents finished strong attacks,” said 23-year-old Zhou. “We were probably not well prepared and fell into traps as the game wore on.”

Lu Guangzu then edged out Sameer Verma 14-21, 21-9, 24-22 to give China a 2-1 lead.

“I had too many turnovers in the first set and the decider when the scores went to 13-13. I had hoped to finish smart and strong, but on the contrary, I was losing points too quickly. When Sameer got the match point, my tactics still worked and I was lucky to turn the game.”

In the final two matches, Liu Cheng and Wang Yilyu smashed Madathil Ramachandran Arjun and Dhruv Kapila 26-24, 21-19, before Li Shifeng defeated Kiran George 21-15, 21-17.

Japan also beat Malaysia by the same score to top Group D.

In Friday’s quarter-finals, 10-time winners China face Thailand, record 13-time champions Indonesia play regional rivals Malaysia, hosts Denmark meet India while Japan, champions in 2014 and runners-up in 2018, take on South Korea.





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