Sudirman Cup 20015Malaysia couldn’t repeat their Group-stage performance against Korea in the quarterfinal and lost 1-3. The only victory for Malaysia came from Lee Chong Wei, who produced another powerful performance to win his singles tie against Son Wan Ho in straight sets. In the other quarterfinal games, China dismissed Germany 3-0 with great authority with none of the German players being able to match the Chinese shuttling skills; Denmark lost narrowly to title favorites Japan and in the fourth quarterfinal, Indonesia went past Chinese Taipei with a relatively easy 3-1 victory.

After their shock defeat to Malaysia, Korea turned the tables on the Malaysians. The men’s doubles Korean pair of Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong avenged their group-stage defeat by winning 21-18, 21-16 against Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong. Goh/Tan began by setting a frantic pace similar to their earlier encounter a few days ago. The Koreans struggle a little bit before they bounced back by expertly controlling the tie. The Malaysians became error-prone and lost the tie in two games. In women’s singles, Malaysia’s Tee Jing Yi kept fighting all the way against Sung Ji Hyun but once she fell behind 0-7 in the second game, the challenge went out of her as she lost 17-21, 12-21. In the third men’s singles tie, Malaysia’s hopes got a boost, when Lee Chong Wei continued with his master-class show and the Korean Son Wan Ho couldn’t match the skills of the former world no. 1. This was the third time this week that the famous Malaysian had taken to the court after his 8-month ban but he showed no signs of rust as he turned the game around at 17-all in the first game and led all the way in the second. In the next women’s doubles tie, however, it was all over as Chang Ye Na/Jung Kyung Eun defeated Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei 21-23, 21-16, 21-11.

China had an easy 3-0 win over Germany beginning with the mixed doubles tie. The powerful Chinese combo of Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei completely outplayed Michael Fuchs/Birgit Michels 21-9, 21-11. The German team couldn’t find their foothold against the world no.1 Chinese pair. Then the local superstar Lin Dan made it 2-0 by beating Marc Zwiebler 21-12 21-15. The only other tie that needed to be played was men’s doubles in which Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan sealed the semifinal berth for China with a 21-15, 21-17 win over Michael Fuchs/Peter Kaesbauer.

In the most interesting quarterfinal, Denmark almost shocked title favorites Japan. Denmark began by taking a 1-0 lead, when their mixed doubles pair of Mads Pieler Kolding/Sara Thygesen edged out Kenta Kazuno/Ayane Kurihara in three games; 21-9, 16-21, 21-13. Kento Momata made it 1-1 in the men’s singles against Viktor Axelsen but the Japanese didn’t find the victory as a cake-walk since he was stretched to three games before coming through 21-15, 17-21, 21-9. Nozomi Okuhara made it 2-1 for Japan with her powerful performance against Line Kjaersfeldt that ended with a 21-12, 21-8 in the Japanese’s favor. The Danes, however, hadn’t given up as they bounced back into the reckoning with men’s doubles pair of Mads Pieler Kolding/Kim Astrup scored a 21-19, 21-15 victory over world no.6 Japanese Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa. At the score of 2-2, the last women’s doubles tie became a crunch game for both reams. The Danish pair Line Kjaersfeldt/Sara Thygesen almost threw out Japan with a fearless display against world no.1 Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi. After first two games were squared, the Danes went 19-18 ahead in the third. But Japanese women produced last-gasp winners to seal semifinal berth for Japan with a hard-fought 19-21 21-7 21-19 win.

In contrast, Indonesia had an easy passage in the semifinals with a 3-1 victory over Chinese Taipei. Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan gave a solid start with an emphatic 21-17, 21-18 win over Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin. But in women’s singles, Indonesia’s Bellaetrix Manuputty lost 17-21, 17-21 to the world no.4 Tai Tzu Ying. This was the only tie that Indonesia lost because they emerged victorious in men’s singles and women’s doubles ties that followed. In the men’s singles 17-year old Indonesian Jonatan Christie took on Hsu Jen-hao of Taiwan. The youngster took three games but finally came over 21-12, 13-21, 21-16. Indonesia’s win in the women’s doubles tie settled the semifinal berth. Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari scored an emphatic 21-14 21-9 win over Chen Hsieh Pei Chen/Wu Ti Jung. In the semifinals, Indonesia face defending champions China while Japan takes on Korea.