Uber Cup 2020: Owned by Asia
Uber Cup 2020: Owned by Asia
It's not easy to shake up the Uber Cup. The favorites almost never change.
In the 2020 Thomas Cup Final, the competition is predicted to be a tight race. Several countries have the potential to become champions at the event held on October 3-11 in Aarhus, Denmark. It’s not just the Asian countries, but countries outside the continent have great potential to surprise us, and of course this includes Denmark, the host.
However, it is a different case for the Uber Cup. In this women's group, the competition is tough. In particular, there are 3 strong countries to watch out for: China, Japan and Korea.
This is because for the three countries, especially China and Japan, their strengths are quite evenly distributed in both singles and doubles.
Despite having won the Uber Cup for 14 times, at this point we can say that China is not the strongest. Two years ago, China was beaten by Japan on the road to be the champion. This led Japan to face Thailand, instead of China, in the final round that resulted in Japan winning 3-0.
Has China's dominance faded? Not yet. This country still has the potential to add to its championship cabinet. In singles, the world’s most populous country has a young star named Chen Yu Fei who is currently ranked #2 behind Tai Tzu Ying from Chinese Taipei. Unfortunately, Tzu Ying will not be able to compete because the country withdrew due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the second singles match, China still has He Bing Jiao, #8 in the world ranking and Wang Zhi Yi in 16th as the third singles player. With China’s tough players composition, only Japan can put up a fight or even beat them.
Japan is backed with two singles players that share the top ten positions: Akane Yamaguchi world’s #3 and Nozomi Okuhara world’s #4. For the third singles player, Japan has Sayaka Takahashi, #11 in the world ranking.
It seems that the singles number is dominated by the power of China and Japan.
On the other hand, for doubles, both of the two countries have pairs in the top 10 of the world ranking. Chinese doubles Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan (ranked #1) and followed by Du Yue/Li Yin Hui (ranked #5). Meanwhile, Japan will have the Japanese duo Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (ranked #2) and Mayu Matsutomo / Wakana Nagahara (ranked #3).
This highlights the fierce competition before the Uber Cup finals take place. Both countries have great winning mentality and we can’t wait to see it if they get head-to-head.
Another country to watch out for is Korea. Their fighting spirit is not to be underestimated. In 2010 they broke China's domination, which was (and still) very difficult to do. But looking back at that time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, they amazingly beat China by 3-1. For Uber Cup 2020, in singles matches, the country relies on their quality players such as An Se Young (ranked #9), Sung Ji Hyun (ranked #14), and Kim Ga Eun (ranked #17). While in doubles, they also have Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan (ranked #6) and Baek Ha Na / Jung Kyung Eun (ranked #10).
This year’s Uber Cup would have been a little spicier had Chinese Taipei and Thailand not withdrawn themselves. But safety remains our top priority so let’s hope the pandemic ends soon so we can see all the best talents playing again.
Asia’s chances to keep the Uber Cup in Asia seems high. As supporters, let’s keep giving our support to your favorite players to make sure that Asia lifts the Uber Cup. As the world’s citizens, let’s keep playing our part in stopping the spread of Covid-19 so the situation remains conducive to hold the Thomas & Uber Cup.