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Astrup/ Rasmussen fall short

5/21/2022 6:56 PM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Yash Sharma
The last European contenders in the Thailand Open, despite their best efforts, failed to reach the final. 

After a confidence-boosting first-ever win over Mohammad Ahsan/ Hendra Setiawan yesterday, Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen were in for a long battle today. The Danes’ Super 500 campaign was driven by Rasmussen’s attack so far: pumped up following nail-biting victories in the Thomas Cup last week. However, they ran into the defensive wall of Takuro Hoki/ Yugo Kobayashi. 

There was little to separate the two pairs over the course of 69 minutes. The Japanese stepped up to create a slender lead midway through the decider. They eventually avenged the German Open loss 21-23, 21-18, 21-18, by keeping it steady in the dying stages. The world champions will face the Indonesians Fajar Alfian/ Muhammad Rian Ardianto for the men’s doubles title.

A repeat of Tokyo final
While China and Chinese Taipei did square off in the Uber Cup, Tai Tzu Ying opted out of the first singles duty. Consequently, the Tokyo runner-up gets a chance to avenge perhaps her biggest career-loss tomorrow. While she just got over the line against Ratchanok Intanon today, the longest-reigning world number one is up against an in-form Chen Yufei. The Olympic champion was clinical against Pusarla V. Sindhu, winning 21-17, 21-16. 

The home favourites
Despite Intanon’s loss, the home fans will have a reason to cheer tomorrow. Dechapol Puavaranukroh/ Sapsiree Taerattanachai are back to winning ways as they outwitted the Olympic champions. Wang Yilyu/ Huang Dongping wilted away in face of Puavaranukroh’s relentless attack in the decider. The match ended 16-21, 21-12, 21-16. 

The Thai world number ones will be up against another Chinese pair for the ultimate glory. Zheng Siwei/ Huang Yaqiong emerged victorious after a monumental battle against the three-time and reigning All England champions Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino. They came back from behind to beat the Japanese pair 18-21, 21-8, 23-21.

Elsewhere, while Li Shifeng outplayed Kodai Naraoka 21-19, 16-21, 21-19 to set up a salivating final clash with Lee Zii Jia, the women’s doubles category will feature an all-Japanese final after a considerable time. Nami Matsuyama/ Chiharu Shida will take on their seniors, following Wakana Nagahara’s impressive return with Mayu Matsumoto after almost a year. 

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