Group 1 Semi-finals
KOREA beat THAILAND: 3-1
Thailand couldn't exceed their previous best in Sudirman Cup. Today Korea as they did back in 2013 at Kuala Lumpur stopped Thailand at the semi-finals and repeated the tie outcome too, 3-1.
Thailand made an ideal start with a hot performance through casting Sapsiree Taerattanachai / Dechapol Puavaranukroh in mixed doubles. The world #9 Thais made world #14 Chae Yoo Jung / Choi Solgyu look ordinary to the tune of 21-16, 21-12.
Dechapol Puavaranukroh's stamp was all over this match. His supreme court coverage from side to side on several points maneouvered both Koreans into submission, sometimes ending with a dazzling leap on dropshots.
Korea again relied upon their men's singles world #1, twenty-nine year old Son Wan Ho, to make matters in the tie even again. It took 80 minutes, almost twice the length of any other, to defeat World #62 Suppanyu Avihingsanon 18-21, 21-10, 21-17. The taller Thai was solid in all departments. Son had to execute winners in order to catch up and beat Avihingsanon.
Son halted his and Avihingsanon's neck to neck rubber game scoreline at 17-17 by daring to hit accurate close to the line straight smashes.
Nobody could have predicted how men's doubles would go. Koreans Choi Solgyu / Seo Seung Jae in only their second international appearance together supplied the second tie point, 21-13, 21-16, over an even greener partnership, Dechapol Puavaranukroh / Bodin Isara in their first outing.
Puavaranukroh was unable to recapture the spirit of his opening rendition. The young Thai committed multiple unforced errors on kills at the net his team had set up.
Left handed Seo Seung Jae displayed flair in cross shots from both sides, typically dropping from the forehand side and smashing deadly off-forehands as he traversed the court.
In women's singles, world #4 Sung Ji Hyun won in straight games over 2013 World Champion Ratchanok Intanon for a third time since December, 21-13, 21-17. Sung had also defeated Intanon at Thailand's previous Sudirman semi-final.
Sung took advantage of Intanon's uncharacteristically short clears. Intanon produced lovely strokes and angles on them for which she is known but her aim was frequently wide this afternoon.