Sudirman Cup: China beat Japan 3-0 to retain the title

Shankar Narayan
Li Xuerui won a testing match againt Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi

China continued their dominance of the SudirmanCup, by beating Japan 3-0 in the final of the tournament on Sunday. The Men’s Doubles pair of Zhang Nan and Hu Faiyeng gave their side the early lead, winning an hard-fought contest against Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayawaka to go 1-0 up in the final.

In the second match of the day, it was World No.1 Li Xuerui, who was stretched, particularly in the opening game by Akane Yamaguchi, but the World No.1 managed to pull through to give China a 2-0 lead.

With just one match needed to win the title, it was Lin Dan, who also overcame a sturdy opponent in Takuma Ueda, who clinched the third tie and helped China retain the Sudirman Cup. Here’s a roundup:

1.Men’s Doubles: Zhang Nan/Hu Faiyeng(CHN) vs Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayawaka(JPN)

It was Japan who took the early 2-1 lead in the mixed doubles tie, but China made a comeback into the game to make it 3 games apiece. Japan then once again took the lead, but the Chinese pair never let them take full control of the game and eventually led 11-10 at the interval mark.

After the break, the Chinese pair continued to maintain a sizeable lead over their opponents, never quite letting the Japanese take advantage of any small openings that they got and eventually took the game 21-17 in their favour.

The second game once again began on a topsy-turvy note but China once again didn't let the Japanese have a distinct advantage at any point in the game, continuing to exert pressure on them and led 11-8 at the break.

Realising that they were slightly behind the 8-ball, the Japanese pair showed great character and forged a terrific comeback into the match and despite a few service errors, clinched the game 22-20 to make it 1 game apiece.

The decider saw China take an early 3-1 lead and the continued to extend the lead, never allowing Japan to lead at any point in the game and went into the interval with an 11-6 lead. Just like the second game, the Japanese duo tried to make a comeback after the interval, winning 3 points on the trot to make it 11-9 but China then restored their advantage by winning 3 points of their own to make it 14-9

That lead became 18-12 as China sensed a commanding win but the Japanese duo continued to hang in the game winning 5 out of the next 6 points to make it 19-17. But with just 2 points to win, the Chinese duo held their nerve and won the decider 21-17 to take the lead, in the final.

Final Scoreline: Zhang Nan/Hu Faiyeng(CHN) beat Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayawaka 21-12 20-22 21-17

2.Women’s Singles: Li Xuerui(CHN) vs Akane Yamaguchi(JPN)

After conceding an early lead, the responsibility was on Akane Yamaguchi to bring Japan back into the final. But she was up against World No.1 Li Xuerui and so it wasn't going to be the easiest of tasks to notch up a win.

Yamaguchi, though took the upper hand early, taking a 5-3 lead, but the World No.1 came back into the contest soon later to take 6 out of the next 13 points and lead 11-10 at the interval.

The other side of the break saw some pulsating action from both players as Yamaguchi clinched 3 points on the trot to make 11-14 in her favour. But Li Xuerui isn't the World No.1 for nothing and won 5 out of the next 7 points to bring the match back on level terms at 16-16. She then took the lead to make it 19-16, but Yamaguchi made a strong return into the game to make it 19-19.

Li though took the lead again only for her opponent to make a comeback and make it 20-20.Yamaguchi then went in front again, but a critical error by the Japanese brought Li back into the game and she eventually sealed it 23-21.

The second game was a much easier affair for Li as compared to the first as the Chinese, once again overcame a slow start, to dominate proceedings and eventually sealed the second game 21-14 to give her side a 2-0 lead.

Final Scoreline: Li Xuerui(CHN) beat Akane Yamaguchi(JPN) 23-21 21-14

3.Men’s Singles: Lin Dan(CHN) vs Takuma Ueda(JPN)

Japan’s Takuma Ueda faced a massive challenge ahead of him, to keep Japan in the final as he took on World No.2 Lin Dan. Ueda began the match on a positive note, taking a 6-3 early lead, but Lin came back strongly into the game to win 4 out of the next 5 points to make it 7-7 points apiece.

Ueda though was giving the Chinese a good fight, going 9-7 up only for the 31-year-old to bring to back to level terms and eventually take an 11-10 lead at the break. Following the interval, it was Ueda who once agin took the lead, only for the Chinese to regain it moments later and never gave it back to the Japanese, eventually clinching the opening game 21-15.

The second game once again saw Ueda take an early 2-0 lead, but Lin Dan once again brought the match back on level terms. Despite Ueda trying to his force his way back into the game, the Chinese never let him have any distinct advantage at any point and eventually clinched the game 21-13 to seal the win and help China retain the Sudirman Cup.

Final Scoreline: Lin Dan(CHN) beat Takuma Ueda(JPN) 21-15 21-13

Edited by Staff Editor


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