China tops its group, France surprise qualifier
NEW DELHI (AP) — China continued to show its superiority with a third successive victory in the Thomas Cup on Tuesday while France proved the surprise package by making the knock-out stage from the same group.
China completed a straightforward 5-0 win over Taiwan in group D with world No. 2 Chen Long scoring a comfortable 21-14, 21-19 win over Chou Tien Chen and Lin Dan completing the score-line with a hard-fought 19-21, 21-13, 21-14 win over Lin Yu Hsien.
France entered the quarterfinals with a 3-2 win over Russia after defeating Taiwan 3-2 on Monday.
Thomas Rouxel sealed the win in the fourth match of the tie as he beat Anton Ivanov 21-9, 21-14.
“We were confident of beating Russia and had thought of Taiwan as a bigger challenge,” Rouxel said. “This has been perfect and we are excited to play in the quarterfinals. People are following our progress back home as we have been getting messages on Facebook.”
The picture became clear in other groups too with ties on Wednesday to decide the group toppers.
Thailand and Indonesia will play to decide the top team from group A, Denmark and Japan will play to decide the topper from group B, while South Korea and Malaysia will fight it out to top group C.
In the Uber Cup for women, India pulled off a 3-2 victory over Thailand in the match to decide the topper of group X as Saina Nehwal defeated world champion Ratchanok Intanon 22-20, 21-14 in the first singles.
“The first game was very tight,” Saina said. “I wanted to do play well before the super series tournaments, wanted to get the feeling of beating top players. I played well at the net and the defense too came off well because she was attacking a lot.”
P.V. Sindhu won the second singles and then the experienced pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa won the first doubles to make it 3-0.
Top favorite China will play its last tie of group W on Wednesday with either England or Taiwan to advance as the second qualifier.
In group X, Indonesia and South Korea will play to decide the group topper while Japan and Denmark are the two qualifiers from group Z who will play on Wednesday.