Badminton's top-ranked doubles teams earn final berths at Denmark Open
Odense (Denmark) Oct 21 : The top-ranked doubles teams in three categories advanced here on Saturday to the championship round of the Denmark Open, one of the biggest events on the annual badminton calendar.
China's Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong kicked the day off on the main court at the Odense Sports Park with a narrow 21-11, 19-21, 21-17 mixed-doubles semi-final victory over the reigning Olympic champions, the third-ranked Indonesian team of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, reports Efe.
The 2018 world champions continued the strong run of form they have shown throughout the season, demonstrating quick reflexes at the net and hardly making any unforced errors in winning the match in 50 minutes.
Next up for the top-ranked Chinese pair in Sunday's final will be the 13th-ranked Thai duo of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, who defeated South Korea's Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yu-jung 21-16, 17-21, 21-16.
In men's doubles, the Indonesian world No. 1 team of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernandi Gideon nearly squandered a big lead in the second game but came alive in time to earn a 21-18, 24-22 victory over veteran countrymen Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
The ever-confident "Minions" took their foot off the pedal when leading 16-10 in the second game, dropping 10 of the next 12 points.
The top-ranked duo, however, fought off two game points and then clinched the victory on their third match point when Ahsan dumped a forehand in the net.
Next up in Sunday's final will be the fourth-ranked Japanese team of Keigo Sonoda and Takeshi Kamura, who stunned the Indonesians in straight games in the quarter-finals of this year's World Championships in Nanjing, China.
In women's doubles, the Japanese world No. 1 team of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota handily defeated the fourth-ranked Indonesian duo of Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu 21-13, 21-16.
The match pitting two teams that have excellent defensive skills but lack power on smashes featured numerous long rallies, including one that lasted a whopping 126 shots.
Fukushima and Hirota will square off in Sunday's final against sixth-ranked countrywomen Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto, who brushed aside South Korea's Kim Hye Jeong and Kong Hee-yong 21-12, 21-14.