Bangkok: Eying a shot at both Thomas Cup and Uber Cup trophies, Japan has come from 0-1 down to overcome Taiwan 3-1 in the Uber Cup quarter-finals while the Japanese men’s team has rolled past France 3-1 on Thursday.
The Japanese women got off to a slow as World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi went down to World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan 21-19, 21-16.
They rebounded with doubles pair Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota tearing through their rivals in the next match, followed by a routine 21-11, 21-12 win by singles world champion Nozomi Okuhara, before the Rio Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi outlasted Chen Hsiao Huan/Hu Ling Fang 21-15, 21-11 to ensure the Japanese Uber Cup team a spot in the semi-finals.
Japan will meet Korea on Friday.
Meanwhile, Uber Cup defending champions, China, will face the dark-horse team – Thailand in the last four as Thailand beat Indonesia 3-2 in the quarter-finals.
Thailand’s badminton superstar, World No. 4 Ratchanok Intanon, gave the home crowd something to cheer about when she demolished Indonesia’s Fitriani Fitriani 21-8, 21-7 in the first women’s singles match.
It was Busanan Ongbamrungphan who sparked jubilation among the home crowd by winning the final women’s singles 9-21, 12-21 to seal a 3-2 win against Indonesia.
“The crowd really gave me a lot of support. I am really happy that I can make one point for my team,” said the 22-year-old Busanan.
Busanan conceded that taking on China – reigning champions who have won the Uber cup 14 times – will be “very tough”.
“But I think everyone in my team can do it. I will try my best,” she added.