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Sudirman Cup 2019 – Team Japan to Face China for the Title

27 May 2019

Nanning, China ­– Japan defeated a spirited Indonesian team 3-1 on Saturday to advance to the finals of the Sudirman Cup for only the second time in the tournament’s history. Japan, who has never won gold at the Sudirman Cup, will face China, who holds ten titles.

The opening men’s doubles match saw the World No. 2 pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda face off against World No. 1s Marcus F Gideon and Kevin S Sukamuljo. Though Kamura/Sonoda have been able to win five of their last thirteen meetings, they were not able to summon the energy to get the job done tonight, falling 21-14, 21-18.

Momentum shifted quickly in the next match however, when Akane Yamaguchi came on court to face Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in women’s singles. Yamaguchi controlled the match from start to finish and needed just half an hour to finish in straight games, 21-13, 21-13.

Kento Momota did not have as smooth a path, though he also won in straight games against Anthony Ginting. The young Indonesian, who has beat Momota as recently as last year’s China Games, put up a stubborn fight – tying and even leading the World No. 1 for a short time in the second game. Eventually however, after over an hour had elapsed, Momota’s footwork and technique proved superior, and the outcome was a 21-17, 21-19 win to give Japan a 2-1 lead.

In women’s doubles, newly minted World No. 1s Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara faced Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu. True to form, the Japanese played nearly flawless, defensive badminton, waiting for openings in their opponent’s game and then striking. With a 21-15, 21-17 win, they put Japan over the edge and booked a date with China tomorrow for the Sudirman Cup championship.

Photos: Badminton Photo

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