Home2022The Defending Champion's Final Quest

The Defending Champion’s Final Quest

China's step to win the 16th Uber Cup title is in sight. Team China made it through to the final round of the Uber Cup Finals 2022.

In the semifinals held at Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand, Friday local time, China defeated the host Thailand with a score of 3-0. The victory of China was opened by Chen Yu Fei, the gold medalist of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, who defeated Ratchanok Intanon in two games 21-18, 21-12. 

China’s second point didn’t come quite easily as the world number one women's doubles pair Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan had to play a rubber set for 1 hour 14 minutes. Chen/Jia eventually won 17-21, 21-13, 21-15 over Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititrahakul/Rawinda Prajongjai. In the third match, He Bing Jiao confirmed China’s victory after defeating Pornpawee Chochuwong in two straight games 21-15, 21-15.

The other semifinal brought us a surprise. Korea won over Japan 3-2. World’s number one Akane Yamaguchi was forced to give up after three games 21-15, 18-21, 18-21 to An Seyoung. An Seyoung's victory added to the enthusiasm of her partner in doubles, Lee Sohee/Shin Shungchan. The Korean duo won in two games 16-21, 17-21 over Japanese doubles Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida. The victory of Korea was confirmed after Kim Gaeun won three games 21-12,11-21, 21-16 over the former world’s number one Nozomi Okuhara.

On paper, China has the upper hand with a solid probability to gain 3 points consecutively. Chen Yu Fei has never lost to An Seyoung in their six meetings. Judging from Chen’s performance so far, she really is a tough challenge for An Seyoung. Likewise with the doubles. The couple Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan have a good head-to-head record against Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan. Chen/Jia have always won in their previous five meetings. The situation is similar in the third single – He Bing Jiao had always won over Kim Gaeun in their previous three meetings. 

China is surely looking forward to bringing home the Uber Cup again, continuing their tradition of consecutive victories at the Uber Cup Finals. On the other hand, Korea is fueled by their thirst in lifting the Uber Cup again after 12 years. In the history of the Uber Cup Finals, China and Korea had met in the final round 8 times and it was only once, in 2010, when Korea won. (*)

 

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