China starts Thomas and Uber tournaments in style
NEW DELHI (AP) — China started its defense of the Thomas and Uber Cup tournaments in style on Sunday with convincing 5-0 victories.
Star player Lin Dan was among the winners as China swept aside France in its quest for a record sixth consecutive Thomas Cup title.
Lin, a five-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, is ranked only 58th owing to limited participation in international events. He defeated Lucas Claerbout 21-16, 21-14.
Chen Long and Du Pengyu also won their respective singles matches with ease as China completed the victory without losing a set.
“It’s good to start on a winning note and we did not have to push ourselves,” Chen said.
Taiwan and Russia are the other teams grouped with China and France in Group D.
South Korea survived a scare in Group C before prevailing over Germany 3-2.
Marc Zwiebler and Dieter Domke pulled off singles victories over Son Wan-Ho and Lee Dong Keun as Germany took a 2-1 lead with the Koreans winning the first doubles.
The Koreans also won the second doubles before Soo Hwang-Jong defeated Lukas Schmidt 21-15, 21-16 in 40 minutes to take the decider.
Like the men, the Chinese women’s team also did not drop a set as it started its Uber Cup campaign by thrashing Russia.
However, third-ranked Wang Yihan was cautious about the defending champion’s chances.
“We won quite easily today but I’d not say that we are the favorites,” Yihan said despite the presence of the world’s top three players in China’s team, including No. 1 Li Xuerui. “I’d rather say we are here to win the title and have many tough teams to beat.”
China, which is looking for an eighth title in nine tournaments, fielded third-ranked Yihan but played its fourth player Sun Yu instead of second-ranked Wang Shixian.
In another tie in the same group, England pulled off a 3-2 win over Taiwan.
Both tournaments are being played this year with 16 teams, up from 12.