Aarhus: Viktor Axelsen has reinforced his reputation as the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist, leading his country to see off India’s challenge to book Denmark’s spot in the 2020 Thomas Cup semi-finals.
On Friday, the World No. 2 Dane beat World No 14, Kidambi Srikanth of India to seal Denmark’s first point. Denmark’s World No. 11 Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, however, suffered a defeat at the hands of World No. 10 Satwiksairaj RankireddyChirag Shetty, losing 15-21, 21-17, 18-21.
Fortunately, Denmark has enough depth to survive India’s challenge as World No. 3 Anders Antonsen clinched the second point in the second men’s singles match, before scratch pair Mathias Christiansen/Frederik Sogaard scored the winning point for team Denmark by beating M.R. Arjun/Dhruv Kapila 21-16, 21-9 in the second men’s doubles match. Denmark ultimately posted a 3-1 win to set up a clash with Indonesia in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Friday’s quarter-final was sweet revenge for Indonesia as they came off their Sudirman Cup quarter-final loss to Malaysia two weeks ago by beating their neighbor country 3-0 in the 2020 Thomas Cup quarter-finals on Friday.
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting who lost to Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia at the Sudirman Cup, playing with a quick pace to beat Lee Zii Jia 21-15, 21-17 to secure the first point for Indonesia.
“Thank god that I was able to play much better against Lee Zii Jia compared to the Sudirman Cup. I was very focused from the beginning until the end,” said Ginting after the match.
“Ginting had a very aggressive and speedy game today. He already controlled me from the start of the game, and I couldn’t keep up with his tempo,” said Lee.
After losing to Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik in the Tokyo Olympics quarter-finals, Indonesia’s World No. 1 men’s pair – Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo bounced back and raised their level on Friday to beat Chia/Soh 21-17, 16-21, 21-15. The World No. 1 pair won the second point for Indonesia, before Jonatan Christie saw off a spirited challenge from Ng Tze Yong 14-21, 21-19, 21-16 to lift Indonesia into the semi-finals.
In the tie between Japan and Korea, history repeated itself between the match of Kento Momota and Heo Kwanghee, after Heo pulled off an upset to beat Momota in the last Group A match of the Tokyo Olympics. Heo said his victory over Momota on Friday proved that it was not luck for beating Momota in the Olympics.
“I was very aggressive in Tokyo. This time I tried to engage him in long rallies to make him tired or force him to commit errors as he likes to play half-smashes rather than full smashes. I was able to read his shots,” said Heo after the match.
Japan was down 0-2, before winning through Kanta Tsuneyama (second men’s singles), Akira Koga/Yuta Watanabe (second men’s doubles), and Kenta Nishimoto (third men’s singles) to advance to the semi-finals to play China.
China, on the other hand, recorded a one-sided victory against Thailand, overcoming Thailand 3-0 to set up a blockbuster clash with Japan on Saturday.
Below is the day seven result of the 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup finals:
2020 Thomas Cup Results (October 15, 2021):
Thomas Cup, Korea vs. Japan 2-3
Thomas Cup, Thailand vs. China 0-3
Thomas Cup, Denmark vs. India 3-1
Thomas Cup, Indonesia vs. Malaysia 3-0
2020 Uber Cup Results (October 15, 2021):
Uber Cup, Japan vs. Korea 3-1
Uber Cup, Thailand vs. China 0-3