The Qualities of Asian Countries that will Shine in the Quarter-finals
An exciting duel will be presented in the quarter-finals of the 2020 Uber Cup which will be held in Aarhus, Thursday local time. Two neighboring countries, China and Chinese Taipei, will compete for a ticket to the semifinals. Despite the excitement, on paper however, China will have no trouble beating their opponents in the match.
Chinese Taipei doesn’t have their full force because of the absence of the world's number one women's singles player, Tai Tzu Ying. This makes China's singles mainstay Chen Yu Fei, ranked second in the world, have no trouble opening victory over Chinese Taipei's first single Pai Yu Po, ranked 43rd in the world. The two had met once and Chen Yu Fei won.
This is likewise with the other two singles. The power of China is far above Chinese Taipei. Their second singles player Bing Jiao, is ranked ninth in the world, and their other player Wang Zhi Yi, is ranked 18th. Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei relies on Hung Yi Ting, ranked 142, and Yu Chien Hui (661). In fact, even in doubles, China's strength is far above its opponent's doubles. Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan, ranked second in the world, and Du Yue/Li Yin Hui, ranked seventh in the world, will be difficult to beat no matter which Chinese Taipei pair will be trusted to appear.
China or Chinese Taipei will wait for the winner of the match between the two Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia, the runner-up in Group A, and Thailand, the winner of Group B. The match can last up to five rounds. Thailand has better players in the singles category. On the other hand in doubles, Indonesia has a tougher pair with the presence of Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalists Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu.
In singles, Thailand put their faith in Pompawee Chochuwong, world number 10 who replaced Ratchanok Inthanon, the world number 6. She is joined by Busanan Ongbamrungphan, ranked 13th in the world, and Phittayaporn Chaiwan, ranked 31st.
Meanwhile, Indonesia relies on young badminton players with their first singles player, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, ranked 21st in the world, Putri Kusuma Wardani, 126th in the world, and Ester Tri Wardoyo, who does not yet have a senior rank.
While in the doubles, apart from Apriyani/Greysia, Indonesia relies on Siti Fadia Ramadhanti/Ribka Sugiarto, ranked 34th. In this category, Thailand has Jangkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai, ranked 8th, and Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, ranked 22nd.
In the other matches, Japan and Korea are unlikely to experience significant obstacles. Even though there are no top seeds such as Nozomi Okuhara, ranked 3rd in the world, and the world number 1 pair Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, the defending champion is still tougher than India, the runner-up in Group B.
In the singles category, Japan's ability, as the winner of Group A, relies on Akane Yamaguchi, ranked 5th, Sayaka Takahashi,15th, and Aya Ohori, 20th. It’s a different story with India. The absence of P.V Sindhu, ranked 7th, and the injury of senior badminton player Saina Nehwal, former world number 1, makes India slightly weaker. They rely on Malvika Bansod, ranked 104th, Aditi Bhatt, ranked 10th in the junior rankings and has not yet had a senior ranking, and Tasnim Mir, who has not yet had a senior rank and is 4th at the junior level.
In doubles, the Japanese pairs are still hard to defeat for Tanisha Crasto/Rutaparna Panda, ranked at 1,157, and Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand Pulela, who has no ranking yet. In the last preliminary round, Japan fielded Yuki Fukushima/Misaki Matsutomo and Mayu Matsumoto/Nami Matsuyama against France. However, the pair were scrambled again when they faced Indonesia by fielding Mayu Matsutomo/Nami Matsuyama and Yuki Fukushima/Arisa Higashino.
Meanwhile, Korea, the winner of Group C, will try to block the ambitions of host Denmark, the runner-up of Group D. On paper, Korea will be able to sweep a straight 3-0 victory. Their singles and doubles’ abilities are still above Denmark. An Seyoung, ranked 8th, Kim Gaeun (17th), and Sim Yujin (55th) are still ahead of Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt (12th), Line Christophersen (23rd), and Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt (77th).
In the doubles, Korea is likely to field the world number 4 and 5 pairs, Lee Sohee/Shin Seungchan, and Kim Soyeong/Kong Heeyong. Both are still above the Danish doubles pairs Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen, ranked 16th, and Amalie Magelund/Freja Ravn, ranked 25th.
By looking at the existing power map, duels between Asian countries are likely to be presented in the semifinals, making it an all-Asian semifinals. This is different from the Thomas Cup where the host, Denmark, has the potential to win their second title after 2016.