Home2022The Quarterfinal That Feels Like the Final

The Quarterfinal That Feels Like the Final

In the quarterfinal today, last year's two finalists, Indonesia and China, will have to beat each other to secure their ticket to the semifinal of the Thomas Cup Finals 2022.

Both can compete with each other because the status of qualifying for the quarter-finals is different. Indonesia is the winner of Group A after defeating Korea in the last match of the group stage 3-2. Meanwhile, China came out as the runner-up in Group B after being defeated by Denmark 2-3.

In the final of the Thomas Cup Finals 2021 in Denmark, Indonesia defeated China with a score of 3-0. The team composition of the two countries has not changed much. In 2022, Indonesia still entrusts its three singles to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (5), Jonatan Christie (8), and Shesar Hiren Rustavito (24). China also still entrusts the first single to Lu Guang Zhu (25), Li Shi Feng (50), and Weng Hong Yang (56). Even though the team compositions are the same, the results might be different. Indonesia's first single, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, hasn’t been performing well in the Thomas Cup Finals 2022. In three matches in the preliminary round against Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, he had never won. While on the Chinese side, Weng Hong Yang's third single is currently on the rise. He was able to reach the final of the Badminton Asia Championships 2022 and won the Korea Open. Hong Yang could be the decider of his country’s victory should the score reach 2-2.

Other draws pit Japan against Chinese Taipei, Malaysia against India, and Denmark against Korea. 

For Japan, the match against Chinese Taipei cannot be underestimated. The reason is that Japan was only ranked second in Group D after being defeated by Malaysia 2-3 in the last day's elimination match. On the contrary, Chinese Taipei made it as the leader of Group C, thanks to a 3-2 victory over India. Kento Momota will play a key role. He is expected to be able to find his best performance again after being defeated by Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in the preliminary round. Against Chinese Taipei, the former world's first singles will face Chou Tien Chen, who is now ranked fourth. From the previous meeting record, Kento Momota is far ahead 13-2. However, it is not a guarantee looking at his performance this year. If Momota loses, Japan will have to go home early since Chinese Taipei’s two doubles are tough. They have the Tokyo 2020 Olympics gold medalists Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin, who are also the world’s #3, and the notoriously solid Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han (24). Japan hold their chances with their other singles Kanta Tsuneyama (14) and Kenta Nishimoto (20) who might go against Chinese Taipei’s singles Wang Tzu-Wei (15) and Lu Chia-hung (119).

In the other quarterfinal, the victory over China saved Denmark from having to face the other group winners and instead will face Korea. Viktor Axelsen, the world’s #1, will be the opening victory for his country to motivate his teammates to qualify for the semifinals. In the first match, on paper, Axelsen should have no trouble defeating Heo Kwanghee like in the Thomas Cup Finals 2021 when the two met in the preliminary round. At that time, Axelsen won two straight games 21-12, 21-14. Overall at that time, Denmark won 4-1 and ensured that they won Group B. At that time, points were also contributed by their two singles, Anders Antonsen and Rasmus Gemke. Both are also still in the 2022 squad. Their rankings are still good. Antonsen in the 3rd place and Gemke in the 13th. However, it is possible for Denmark to again entrust Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (21) because of his success in determining victory over China on the group stage. Whoever is deployed in the third singles, the chance of winning is quite large because Korea will most likely have Lee Yun-gyu who is ranked 596. However, South Korea has a chance to steal the victory in the doubles through Choi Sol-Gyu/Seo Seung-Jae (11) who are on fire.

Malaysia, a country with high ambitions to become champions, must also be extra careful. India, which they will face in the quarter-finals, had a chance to surprise them. Two singles, Srikanth Kidambi (11) and Prannoy H.S. (23) have good chances to take the points the other singles player who support Lee Zii Jia (6) are ranked far below him. Malaysia has Liew Daren (34), Ng Tze Yong (46), and Aidil Soleh (100). Their strength, however, is a solid rock in the doubles with  Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, ranked 6th and Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalists, and the doubles that just entered the world's top 10 Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi. India also has a strong pair who is in the top 10: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty. However, they have never won in four meetings with Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik.

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