China Nails down South Korea 4-1 at Thomas Cup
The Korean found it was hard to play against the hosts in front of a packed stadium when their dream of winning the first ever Thomas Cup was faded by the local favorites.
With a mixed line-up of experience and youth, China earned their ticket to the semi-final thanks to Xia Xuanze, Lin Dan and reconstructed doubles Zhang Wei/Chen Qiqiu.
Xia, world number one, had a good start by breezing past newly- crowned All Japan champion Lee Hyun II in three games by 7-5, 7-1, 7-5 with his speed, precise net plays and powerful jump smashings of all court.
Korean Open winner Lin Dan won a hard fight over Shon Seung Mo 7-5, 7-2, 7-2, which had many seesaw of the services from the beginning till the end.
The Koreans held high hopes on their strong tradition doubles which were also re-arranged by taking apart former world champions Kim Dong Moon/Ha Tae Kwan with second doubles Lee Dong Soo/Yoo Yong Sung.
The new pair Kim Dong Moon/Yoo Yong Sun prevailed in the third match 3-0 but Ha Tae Kwon/Lee Dong Soo met troubles with Zhang Wei/ Chen Qiqiu who secured the victory for the host, winning a surprised 7-3, 4-7, 7-3, 7-1.
Zhang said after the decisive match: "It was the first time that Chen and I played together in a match. That was why we played more relaxed and confident against the Korean rivals."
Coming back as a coveted national champion last November, veteran Luo Yigang showed his consistency with a comfortable 7-4, 7-4, 7-2 over Jang Young Soo.
Li Yongbo, head coach of China, said:"We knew that we could win the match against South Korea. We have never lost to them before and so did we tonight."
China now heads into the semi-finals as the group leader with Denmark finishing second.
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