Jonatan Christie Powers Indonesia Past Denmark to Play China in 2020 Thomas Cup Final

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Jonatan Christie's win against Anders Antonsen on Saturday was a turning point for Indonesia to eventually able to Denmark 3-1 in the 2020 Thomas Cup semi-final. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Jonatan Christie's win against Anders Antonsen on Saturday was a turning point for Indonesia to eventually able to Denmark 3-1 in the 2020 Thomas Cup semi-final. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Aarhus: The reigning champions – China and the most successful country in the Thomas Cup history – Indonesia (with 13 titles) will meet in the Thomas Cup final after emerging victorious in the semi-finals on Saturday at the Ceres Arena, in Aarhus, Denmark.

In the semi-final tie between Japan and China, Japan’s World No. 1 Kento Momota who lost to China’s Shi Yuqi in the Sudirman Cup final two weeks ago, savoring sweet revenge on Saturday over Shi to score the first point for Japan. Momota saved a game point to win the first game 22-20. In the one-sided second game, when Momota was leading 20-5, Shi Yuqi exhibited a shameful and extremely embarrassing unsportsmanlike conduct to retire from the match citing physical discomfort.

Shi Yuqi provided a lame excuse for his decision of retiring after the match.

“I still experienced some physical problems. I thought if I could withstand the first game, I could probably still have a chance in the second game. But after the first game, my body started hurting, I felt like I wasn’t able to run too much,” said Shi.

“In fact, I started having problems in the first game, I was having problem returning shots, every part of my body just hurt,” added Shi.

“I believe this has to do with the injury I picked up two years ago. Ever since then, my body would once a while having some strange problems,” continued Shi.

“I chose to retire at match-point because I don’t want any other accident or unnecessary injury to happen to me,” explained Shi.

Despite the victory from Momota, Japan lost its subsequent first men’s doubles, second men’s singles, and second men’s doubles matches to go down to China 1-3. China will face Indonesia on Sunday in the 2020 Thomas Cup final.

In another Thomas Cup semi-final between Indonesia and Denmark, the Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Viktor Axelsen continued his sizzling form on Saturday to take the first game against Indonesia’s World No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-9. In the second game, when Axelsen was leading 20-15, umpire from the USA, Phillip Ayoung-Chee made a controversial call citing Ginting’s racket was over the net, crossing to Axelsen’s court when he killed a net shot from Axelsen and decided it was a fault on Ginting, hence giving the match point to Axelsen.

That drew widespread dissatisfaction from fans and the players. Unfortunately, there’s no live review for this type of shot, and Indonesia had to concede the first match by going down 0-1.

Let’s take a look in slow motion if Ginting did commit the fault with screenshots below:

Step 1: The shuttlecock is falling in Axelsen’s side.

Step 1: The shuttlecock is falling in Axelsen's side.
Step 1: The shuttlecock is falling in Axelsen’s side.

Step 2: It’s clear that if Ginting didn’t touch the shuttlecock, it would fall on Axelsen’s side.

Step 2: It's clear that if Ginting didn't touch the shuttlecock, it would fall on Axelsen's side.
Step 2: It’s clear that if Ginting didn’t touch the shuttlecock, it would fall on Axelsen’s side.

Step 3: Ginting is about to hit the shuttlecock.

Step 3: Ginting is about to hit the shuttlecock.
Step 3: Ginting is about to hit the shuttlecock.

Step 4: Ginting’s racket just crossed the net by a little bit margin to hit the shuttlecock.

Step 4: Ginting's racket just crossed the net by a little bit margin to hit the shuttlecock.
Step 4: Ginting’s racket just crossed the net by a little bit margin to hit the shuttlecock.

Step 5: Ginting retracted his racket after hitting the shuttlecock.

Step 5: Ginting retracted his racket after hitting the shuttlecock.
Step 5: Ginting retracted his racket after hitting the shuttlecock.

After careful review, the umpire’s judgment about Ginting’s racket crossing the net was correct.

Fortunately, Indonesia has enough depth in the men’s doubles and men’s singles to eventually score the three points needed to beat Denmark through Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (first men’s doubles), Jonatan Christie (second men’s singles), and Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (second men’s doubles).

Below is the result of the 2020 Thomas Cup semi-finals (October 16, 2021):
Thomas Cup, Indonesia vs. Denmark 3-1
Thomas Cup, China vs. Japan 3-1

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