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Semifinals tickets are getting hotter

Oct 15th, 2021
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For the second time in a row in 2021, Indonesia and Malaysia will meet again in the team event. After the Sudirman Cup in Vantaa, Finland, this time the two will meet in the 2021 Thomas Cup held today on October 15th, 2021, in Aarhus, Denmark.

 

This will be another quarter-final meeting, after the previous one where they met at the Sudirman Cup, when Malaysia was able to pick a narrow victory of 3-2. Of course, each country will again bring the same great spirit when meeting their rivals.

 

It’s noted that the quality of the two badminton sides is not much different. 

 

In singles, Malaysia's mainstay Lee Zii Jia is on fire. With the highest ranking of 8th, he will meet Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, ranked 5th in the world. In their meeting record, Anthony is superior with having won 3-1. However, in the last meeting at the 2020 Sudirman Cup, it was Lee Zii Jia who excelled. The winner in the first singles match will have a big effect in the other four matches.

 

Apart from Lee Zii Jia, in the singles category, Malaysia relies on Cheam June Wei, ranked 70th, and Leong Jun Hao, ranked 120th. Meanwhile, Indonesia, the winner of Group A, has players with higher ranks. The other singles players will most likely be entrusted to Jonatan Christie, ranked 7th, and Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, ranked 19th. However, as we have seen in the last few tournaments, a higher ranking can’t really guarantee that the singles category will be swept clean by Indonesia.

 

In men’s doubles, Malaysia has Olympic gold medalist Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik. At the last Olympics, this pair defeated Indonesia’s two strongest men’s doubles pairs: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya, ranked first, and Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan, ranked second.

 

The latest performance of the Gideon/Sanjaya and Setiawan/Ahsan might make Indonesia park the two pairs. Instead, Indonesia’s men’s doubles will be guarded by Fajar Alfian/M. Rian Ardianto, ranked seventh, to face Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik. Their performance against Tokyo 2020 gold winner Lee Yang/Wang Chi-lin from Taiwan can be a reference. Even though they lost, both of them made it difficult for their opponents and forced them to play three games. The other Indonesian doubles will be an impromptu pair. It could be that Mohammad Ahsan will be paired with Daniel Marthin to meet Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzudin, ranked 26th in the world.

 

The winner of the duel of this neighboring country will meet the winner of the Denmark and India matchup. 

 

Denmark has three singles players that have the potential to win the match. In the first singles match, Tokyo 2020 champion Viktor Axelsen, who is also ranked 2nd in the world, will try to challenge Kidambi Srikanth, ranked 14th. From their meeting record, Axelsen has lost three times to Srikanth. However, now Axelsen is at the top of his game, possibly making it difficult for Srikanth to repeat the victory.

 

This is likewise in the second and third singles matches. The hosts have Anders Antonsen, ranked 3rd in the world, and Rasmus Gemke, ranked 12th. While India is relying on Sai Praneeth, ranked 15th, and Sameer Verma, ranked 28th. Praneeth and Antonsen have met three times with Denmark's representatives winning twice. In the third singles match, Verma has a better meeting record with three wins in his history of meeting Gemke.

 

In doubles, there will be fierce competition when Indian doubles Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, who are ranked 10th in the world, take on a Danish pair who are ranked exactly one place behind Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen. In their meeting record, Astrup/Rasmussen won four times in five meetings. In the second doubles matchup, Denmark could find it difficult to win the match. Mads Pieler Kolding/Frederik Sogaard is ranked only 143rd and his opponents are Indian pair M.R. Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, 46th place.

 

In the lower group, if it goes according to the scenario, Japan will meet China in the semifinals. In the quarter-finals, Japan, the winner of Group D, will be challenged by Korea, the runner-up in Group B, and China will be tested by Thailand.

 

Kento Momota, who is still firmly #1 at the world rankings, has a chance to avenge his defeat from the first single from Korea, Heo Kwanghee, ranked 33rd. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Kento Momota surprisingly lost in the preliminary round which knocked him out.

 

Two other Korean singles players, Kim Dong Hun, ranked 754th, and Jeon Hyeok Jin, ranked 2,249th will be forced to work hard when they meet Japanese singles player Kanta Tsuneyama, ranked 13th, and Kenta Nishimoto, ranked 16th.

 

However in the doubles, Japan's strength is crippled with the absence of two of the strongest doubles, Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe, ranked 5th, and Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, ranked 6th. Instead, they rely on Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi, ranked 16th, and the impromptu pair in which one will be Yuta Watanabe. In the opposing camp, South Korea has Choi Solgyu/Seo Seungjae, ranked ninth, and Kang Minhyuk/Kim Jaehwan, 42nd.

 

At another party, China will face Thailand. At the men’s singles, China relies on Shi YuQi, ranked 10th in the world. Despite China’s superiority, Thailand will not be an easy challenge. 

 


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