(Credit: Badminton Photo)
Denmark out, Axelsen injured
Date: 5/19/2023 4:36 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The Danish team woke up today believing they had every chance against an in-form Malaysia side to make it into the semifinals. However, despite leaving everything out there, it was not to be. 

Starting with the mixed doubles, both pairs recorded a win for their teams in the groups, however, had not played each other before. Mathias Christiansen/ Alexandra Bøje started brightly and took the opening game against Chen Tang Jie/ Toh Ee Wei. 

The Malaysian duo responded well and found energy from somewhere, winning the next two games comfortably, 15-21, 21-14, 21-7. 

Five minutes 
Sadly, the much-anticipated clash between Viktor Axelsen and Lee Zii Jia lasted just five minutes, as at 4-3 up, the Dane walked off court clutching his hamstring. The usually ‘Mr Reliable’ for Denmark, did not want to let his teammates down and tried for one more point. Unfortunately, it was not possible to continue. 

Denmark had it all to do now being 2-0 down.

Blichfeldt bites back
With what very well could have been the match to win the tie for Denmark was now one to keep them in it. Blichfeldt burst into action and took the early initiative with the first game against Goh Jin Wei. 

The former world junior champion, responded with every trick and deception in her armoury, forcing a decider. 

The up and down third game turned into a battle of who wanted it more. Blichfeldt ground out the win, 21-14, 15-21, 21-19, and summoned the men’s doubles to the court for more action.

Chia/ Soh delivered
Anders Skaarup Rasmussen/ Kim Astrup faced off against Aaron Chia/ Soh Wooi Yik, whom they have gotten the better of in their last two encounters. However, today a place in the Sudirman Cup semifinal was at stake.

Chia/ Soh were able to get on top and stay on top in both games, winning the match 21-17, 21-16 and the tie 3-1 for Malaysia.
The other quarterfinals
The big question still remains if China can be toppled at home? Despite a significant early scare, Zheng/ Huang clawed their way back from a game down and 14-19 down in the second to win the opening match against Rivaldy/ Widjaja of Indonesia.

Belief returned and Shi Yu Qi was able to overcome the Anthony Ginting challenge to set up Chen Yu Fei to secure the win against Gregoria Tunjung.

Tie of the day
In a nail-biting affair, Japan held on against a terrific Thai effort with it going down to the final game of the final match. 

Yamashita/ Shinoya stunned former world champions Puavaranukroh/ Taerattanachai, running away in the end with a 19-21, 23-21, 21-13 win. 

The surprises kept coming with Pornpawee Chochuwong taking down world number one Akane Yamaguchi 19-21, 21-17, 21-11 to level the tie.

Kunlavut Vitidsarn, the main in great form, dismantled the game of Kodai Naraoka winning 21-12, 21-13, setting up Thailand with a great opportunity to record their fourth Sudirman Cup semifinal in six years.

In the longest match of the tie, 85 minutes of great badminton, Matsuyama/ Shida set up a deciding match by holding on against Kititharakul/ Prajongjai 21-17, 20-22, 21-18.

Dechapol Puavaranukroh returned, focused on redeeming himself after the earlier upset in the mixed doubles. With Kedren, the Thai pair took the opening game against the former world champions Hoki/ Kobayashi. However, it was not quite enough against the established pair with Japan winning 19-21, 21-10, 21-18 and the overall tie 3-2. 

Korea calmly into semifinals
Korea, Sudirman Cup winners in 2017, booked their spot in the semifinals once more against Chinese Taipei. Wins from Seo/ Chae, An Se Young and Kim/ Na, after the unfortunate injury to Lee Wang, got them over the line.

The final four
We have a repeat of the 2021 podium in Vantaa, Finland, but in which order will they stand this time?

Malaysia vs Korea
China vs Japan

Make sure you are following us on social media and let us know your predictions!

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