Kunlavut Vitidsarn achieved a breakthrough win today, beating a top 10 player for the first time as he outplayed Shi Yu Qi in straight games. China, though, topped Group A beating Thailand 3-2 at the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2021.
The three-time world junior champion took the best punches Shi Yu Qi threw and stayed alert for every opportunity. A frustrated Shi blew some of his more open chances, and Vitidsarn came away delighted with his biggest result.
“Yes, this is my biggest win… I started with a basic game by defending and then pushed on with attack,” said Vitidsarn.
“There weren’t many tournaments before this, so I was able to work on my fitness and I feel I’m stronger now, so that’s helping my game.”
Thailand had taken the lead with Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren turning in a crackling performance against He Ji Ting and Tan Qiang after a first game loss. The early deficit for China was overturned by Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei, who steamrolled Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-12 21-10.
After Vitidsarn’s 21-17 21-17 result over Shi, it was time for China to flex their muscles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan and Olympic champions Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping gave their opponents no inch, to ensure that China finished their group engagements without any further mishaps.
Antonsen beats Ginting
Anders Antonsen earned his revenge over Anthony Sinisuka Ginting for his Tokyo 2020 loss, but Indonesia were able to make their way past Denmark to the top of Group C thanks to their strength in doubles.
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo eased past new combination Mads Pieler Kolding and Frederik Sogaard, before Mia Blichfeldt overcame teen opponent Putri Kusuma Wardani in three games.
There was much at stake for Antonsen against Ginting, for the Dane hadn’t beaten his opponent in four previous matches. Today he found the answers, and Ginting was never really in the match as he went down 21-9 21-15.
“That loss (Olympics) has been a tough one to swallow, so I had been looking forward to get my revenge against him. I have played him four times before and lost all of them. I am very happy to finally overcome him,” Antonsen said.
However, Olympic champions Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu levelled the score for Indonesia powering past Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen 21-17 21-9, before Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti sealed the tie beating scratch pairing Mathias Thyrri/Amalie Magelund 21-8 21-17.
First Win for Finland
Finland had their moment to cherish with Anton Kaisti and Jesper Paul beating India’s MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila. Although the Indians had taken the tie by then, the Finnish victory in men’s doubles was lustily cheered by the crowd.
“It’s unbelievable, we were having fun. To get the first win for Finland, and against this pair, I can’t put it into words,” said Paul. “They were good at the flat and fast game, so our plan was to take the net away from them. It’s amazing, it hopefully pushes a lot of people to train harder and play badminton.”
Finland earlier had sighted a possible win in the men’s singles, with Kalle Koljonen taken the opening game against Kidambi Srikanth, but the Indian kept things tight until Koljonen eventually flagged from the pace.
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