France raised visions of an upset over Indonesia in the quarterfinals of the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2023 before the 2019 champions recovered to stay in the hunt for the title.
France’s gamble of playing singles specialist Alex Lanier in mixed doubles with Elsa Jacob paid off, as the scratch combination delivered the opening point beating Adrian Pratama/Felisha Alberta Nathaniel Pasaribu in three close games.
“I’ve never played mixed doubles in training,” said Lanier. “I’ve only played sometimes during team matches. It was a risk, because my serve is not perfect, but it was the best option for the team.
“I feel it’s like singles but there’s more space sometimes. I feel I need to be crazy on court and not be serious, because if I’m too serious I cannot enjoy it, and it’s when I enjoy that I’m playing better in mixed doubles.”
Lanier had to return for his singles in the third match, but women’s singles compatriot Malya Hoareau, playing the second match, was unable to allow him an extended period of rest. Hoareau was dismissed in just 25 minutes by Mutiara Ayu Puspitasari, and Lanier was soon back on court needing to beat Alwi Farhan to keep alive his team’s hopes of an upset.
That was not to be, and Farhan had a surprisingly straightforward path, beating the Frenchman 21-14 21-15 to give his team the lead at 2-1.
“When the women’s singles (Puspitasari) won, that gave me confidence,” said Farhan. “I knew I had to win today. I know Alex Lanier, he has already starting playing the World Tour and he’s a good player, and that gave me added motivation to beat him.”
Indonesia take on Chinese Taipei in the semifinals, while China face Malaysia.
China Overpower Japan
Favourites China had little trouble in dismantling Japan on their way to the semifinals. The mixed doubles and men’s singles were both wrapped up in under 40 minutes before Xu Wen Jing took on reigning World Junior champion Tomoka Miyazaki in the women’s singles.
Miyazaki had a flying start, but Xu recovered after the first game and had her chances of closing out the tie for China. It was touch-and-go at the end, with Miyazaki emerging winner at 21-8 15-21 21-19.
Quarterfinals: China bt Japan 3-1; Malaysia bt India 3-0; Indonesia bt France 3-1; Chinese Taipei bt Thailand 3-2
Placings 33 to 40: Iceland bt Georgia 3-0; Norway bt Latvia 3-1; Ghana bt Tahiti 3-2
Placings 25 to 32: Lithuania bt Cook Islands 3-0; Slovakia bt Armenia 3-0; Australia bt Austria 3-0