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Thomas and Uber Cup: Win moves defending champions into Final


05-21-2016 13:04 BJT

At the ongoing Thomas and Uber Cup from Kunshan in Jiangsu Province, the Chinese women were facing India in the semi-finals. And the hosts on the men's side being eliminated in the quarter-finals, the Chinese women were determined to hold firm and make a step closer to defend their title.

China are the top seeds, and were favoured -- in the first singles match Li Xue'rui is given a tough test by Saina Nehwal. After losing the opener 21-15, the Indian Olympic bronze medallist powered back to take the second 21-12.

Nehwal looking to end a run of seven successive defeats to Li. The decider is tight. But Li - the Olympic champion - eventually comes through 21-17 after 64 minutes.

Next up - world number six Wang Shixian against P.V. Sindhu. The Chinese holding a 5-4 advantage in their recent encounters. And Wang is on course for win number six, after cruising through the opening game 21-13.

Sindhu rediscovers her spark in the second. Her best is not quite good enough, Wang edging it 23-21 to help China take a 2-0 lead.

What proves to be the decider is the doubles -- Jwala Gutta and Sikki Reddy have no answer for the team of Tian Qin and Zhao Yunlei, as they grab a 21-6, 21-6 victory and move onto the final.

"The loss of our men's team last night did have an impact on the team, and everyone expressed their disappointment in different ways. Our competition hasn't finished, so we need to work hard to win and hope our men's team rebound from the defeat quickly. And I also hope our fans will give us more encouragement and support," Wang said.

S. Koreans will meet China in championship match

The other semi-final sees South Korea face Japan. The opening singles match is never really in doubt as South Korean world number seven Sung Ji-hyun in purple defeats Nozomi Okuhara in straight games, to give South Korea a 1-0 lead.

Japan then deploy the world's top-ranked doubles team of Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi against South Korean duo of Jung Kyung-eun and Shin Seung-chan.

But the South Koreans, pull off the upset winning the decider 21-16 and leaving South Korea just one win away from the final.

In the singles tie between Bae Yoon-ju and Akane Yamaguchi, Bae falls awkwardly on a return in the first game and is left grasping her ankle.

An injured Bae lost the first game and has to drop to the court in pain midway through the second game. She is taken away on a stretcher and Yamaguchi wins when she withdraws.

But the South Koreans finish the job in doubles when Chang Ye-na and Lee So-hee defeat Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao, 21-15, 21-14 to clinch a 3-1 win and book a spot in the final.

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