Nanning: China dished out a dominating show in their 2019 Sudirman Cup opener to claim a 5-0 victory over Malaysia on Sunday.
However, the badminton powerhouse survived an early scare when World No. 3 men’s doubles pair Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen had to dig deep to come from a set down and to save a match point to barely battle past World No. 13 men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik 18-21, 21-14, 24-22 in one hour.
Next up, World No. 3 women’s singles player Chen Yufei of China was made to toil in dogfight with an extremely aggressive World No. 34 Soniia Cheah. Chen won the first game 21-15, saving a game point and was on the edge of winning when her challenge successfully put her 21-20 in the second set. However, Cheah showed great fighting spirit to reel off 3 consecutive points to force a decider.
Chen Yufei recovered her momentum to ultimately see off Cheah 21-14 in the decider to extend China’s lead to 2-0.
World No. 2 men’s singles player Shi Yuqi then easily defeated Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia 21-12, 21-11 in the men’s singles match to claim victory for China in a best of five format.
“I am quite satisfied with my play; I can give myself 80 points. My teammates have already opened the gap by winning the first two matches, that took a lot of pressure off my shoulder,” said Shi.
Du Yue/Li Yinhui, Huang Yaqiong/Zheng Siwei rode on stupendous performances by their teammates to outwit Vivian Hoo/Yap Cheng Wen 21-18, 21-14, Lai Pei Jing/Tan Kian Meng 21-16, 21-12 in women’s doubles and mixed doubles respectively, wrapping up the match for China with a 5-0 score.
In the tie between Taiwan and Hong Kong, Taiwan was able to clinch the first three points through Liao Min Chun/Su Ching Heng in men’s doubles, Tai Tzu Ying in women’s singles and Chou Tien Chen in men’s singles before losing the women’s doubles and mixed doubles.