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Uber Cup: Battling Malaysians sunk by China in Denmark

Aarhus – Malaysia’s quest in the 2020 Uber Cup is set to end in the group stage after losing 5-0 to 14-time champions China in a Group D tie at the Ceres Arena here today.

After opening their campaign with a 4-1 defeat by hosts Denmark on Saturday (Oct 9), the young and resilient Malaysians showed good fighting spirit against the highly-ranked China, who were led by Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei.

In the first singles, a cool, calm and collected world number two Yu Fei had no problem reading Eoon Qi Xuan’s tactics to force the world number 123 to follow her rhythm en route to a 21-13, 21-11 win in just 31 minutes.

Qi Xuan, who pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset yesterday when she stunned Denmark’s Line Christophersen, who is ranked exactly 100 places higher, was handed the first singles role after S. Kisona was rested today.

China’s 2018 world junior champions Liu Xuan Xuan-Xia Yu Ting then doubled their lead after edging the scratch pair of Lee Meng Yean-M. Thinaah 21-12, 21-17.

Thinaah, whose regular partner Pearly Tan was ruled out after injuring her shoulder during last week’s Sudirman Cup, and team captain Meng Yean put up an energetic performance against China’s world number 21 pair but it wasn’t enough for them to pull off a win.

China, who are the most successful Uber Cup team, clinched the winning point when world number eight He Bing Jiao downed debutant Siti Nurshuhaini Azman 21-8, 21-3.

The 17-year-old Siti Nurshuhaini, ranked 455, tried her best but Bing Jiao was clearly too strong.

Tokyo Olympics mixed doubles gold medallist Huang Dong Ping and women’s doubles silver medallist Jia Yi Fan then combined in the second doubles to make it 4-0 for China with a 21-9, 21-12 victory over youngsters Go Pei Kee-Teoh Mei Xing.

Then, 2018 World Junior Championship silver medallist Wang Zhi Yi wrapped up the proceedings with a 21-15, 21-11 win over K. Letshanaa.

Malaysia will complete their Group D fixture against Canada at 7pm on Oct 11 (1 am Oct 12 Malaysian time) hoping for a win. China, who began their campaign with a similar 5-0 routing of Canada on Saturday (Oct 9), will wrap up their group fixture against hosts Canada on Oct 12.

With only the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarter-finals, China are sitting pretty at the top of Group D with two wins, followed by Denmark, with one win. — Bernama

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