KUALA LUMPUR: Friday the 13th is usually unlucky, or so they say.
But it didn’t matter to Denmark’s world No. 2 women’s pair of Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl. They were all smiles after finally getting the better of world champions Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang for the first time.
The tenacious Danes played a superb balanced game to rack up a 21-11, 16-21, 21-15 win over the world No. 1 from China.
It was their first win in five attempts and it earned them top spot in Group B.
“I thought we played really well. We had to play if we wanted to beat the world champions,” said Pedersen with a wide grin.
“This is a special win for us ... beating the Chinese pair for the first time.
“I’m also hoping to be just as lucky in the mixed doubles ... to go for my second world champion scalp,” added Pedersen, who will partner Joachim Fischer Nielsen against Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir.
More importantly, Xiaoli-Yu Yang are condemned to second spot in the group and could be drawn to face compatriots Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua in the semi-finals.
Ma Jin-Jinhua were in top form as they thrashed Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi 21-12, 21-15 to top Group A.
Under the new format, group winners do not automatically face the other group’s runners-up. A redraw will be made, with the group winners avoiding one another.
This means Pedersen-Juhl could still meet Xiaoli-Yu Yang, three-time champions from 2010-2012.
“Yes, we could still face the Chinese pair but at least now we will know how to tackle them,” said Juhl.
“I believe this draw system is a lot fairer ...the Chinese players will not be able to manipulate the draw so much.”
In other matches, South Korea’s Jang Ye-na-Kim So-young dumped Indonesia’s Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia 21-16, 21-16 to finish second in Group A.
In mixed doubles, Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei defeated England’s Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock 21-15, 21-17 in Group A.
That means Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying just need to avoid defeat against Indonesia’s Markis Kido-Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth in order to make the semi-finals.