Winning start for Malaysia and Denmark in Group D in Thomas Cup Finals
(*Credit image: Malay Mail)
Malaysia kicked off their Thomas Cup Finals with a 5-0 rout of Russia while defending champions Denmark were equally impressive, registering a similar scoreline over newcomers Algeria in their opening Group D matches at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on Monday.
For Malaysia, the win over the Russians is important as they are expected to face Denmark to decide the top two places in the group when they clash on Wednesday.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarter-finals. The knockout stage will have a completely new draw.
Malaysia fielded their best lineup against the Russians with former world No 1 and Malaysia's trump card Lee Chong Wei delivering the first point.
Chong Wei beat Vladimir Malkov 21-9, 21-6 in the first singles.
Malaysia's second point did not come easy when Goh V Sem-Tan Wee Kiong were given a stiff fight by Russia's top pair Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov before prevailing 21-18, 21-19 in the first doubles.
Lee Zii Jia clinched Malaysia's third point but had to stave off stiff resistance from Sergy Sirant in the second singles in his 21-13, 21-16 win in 35 minutes.
Malaysia fielded a scratch pair, Aaron Chia-Teo Ee Yi in the second doubles.
The Malaysians did not disappoint and came off 21-16, 21-9 winners against Evgenij Dremin-Denis Grachev in a 25-minute match.
The final match of the tie was between Malaysia's Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and Russia's Rodion Alimov in the third singles.
Iskandar won his match 21-9, 21-12.
Defending champions Denmark gave African champions Algeria a lesson in badminton with an easy 5-0 win.
RESULTS (THOMAS CUP)
Malaysia 5 Russia 0
MS1: Lee Chong Wei beat Vladimir Malkov 21-9, 21-6
MD1: Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong beat Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov 21-18, 21-19
MS2: Lee Zii Jia beat Sergey Sirant 21-13, 21-16
MD2: Aaron Chia-Teo Ee Yi beat Evgenij Dremin-Denis Grachev 21-16, 21-9
MS3: Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin beat Rodion Alimov 21-9, 21-12
Denmark 5 Algeria 0
MS1: Viktor Axelsen beat Youcef Sabri Medel 21-4, 21-8
MS2: Anders Antonsen beat Mohamed Abderrahime Belarbi 21-15, 21-9
MS3: Jan O Jorgensen beat Adel Hamek 21-7, 21-0
MD2: Mathias Boe-Mathias Christiansen beat Koceita Mammeri-Youcef Sabri 21-6, 21-11
MD1: Mads Conrad-Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding beat Abderrahime-Adel Hamek 21-3, 21-5