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Suzhou, China, May 20 – Hosts China stormed into the semifinals of badminton’s Sudirman Cup after sweeping Indonesia 3-0 here.
China, who have won 12 of the past 17 editions and have never missed the semifinals, will next take on Japan, who edged Thailand 3-2 earlier on Friday, reports Xinhua.
Mixed doubles pair Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong suffered a scare before rallying past Rinov Rivaldy and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in the opening tie.
The Indonesian duo took the first set 21-13, but Zheng and Huang recovered to clinch the second 23-21. The Chinese pair kept their momentum to win the decider 21-11.
“Neither of us felt very nervous, but maybe because of that, we didn’t notice that our bodies were too relaxed to play,” Huang commented on the thriller.
“We haven’t played the mixed team competition for a long time, so I was a little overwhelmed when I came on court,” said Zheng.
“When we were 19-14 down in the second set, I suddenly felt like there were clear chants and cheers behind us. Then we believed we had something to lean on.”
Shi Yuqi also came back from 18-12 down in the first set to win his men’s singles tie 22-20, 21-14 against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, before Olympic women’s singles champion Chen Yufei secured the holders’ semifinal berth by beating Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in straight sets.
“There are endless possibilities in the mixed team competition,” Shi said of his comeback win. “In a team competition, you must have faith to win.”
Men’s singles world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen retired from his match against Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia due to a left hamstring injury as Denmark were eliminated 3-1.
Malaysia will fight for a final spot against four-time tournament winners South Korea, who knocked out Chinese Taipei 3-1.