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Thomas Cup: Malaysia sent packing as Denmark seal comeback win in semis

Malaysia are out of the Thomas Cup after suffering a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat against Denmark in the semi-finals earlier today.
Lee Chong Wei got the tie started with a competitive bout against VIktor Axelsen. The Danish player was expected to cause plenty of problems and he certainly did not disappoint. The first set in particular was extremely tight, as Axelsen consistently applied pressure on Chong Wei. The tempo was reflected in the score line though the former world number one eventually clinched it 23-21. Chong Wei used the momentum to start strongly in the second set, but Axelsen never went too far away. The Danish star was constantly chasing after Chong Wei, only for the experienced shuttler to eventually clinch a 21-18 win to make it 1-0 for Malaysia.

Then came the men’s doubles tie as Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong took the court, to face off against Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Mads Conrad-Petersen. While the tie was expected to be close, V Shem-Wee Kiong’s strong start allowed them to establish a comfortable breathing space within minutes. The early lead forced the Boe-Petersen to go on the offensive, but despite their best efforts, V Shem-Wee Kiong held on to clinch a 21-18 win. The second set was a lot closer as the Malaysian pair began succumbing to a flurry of unforced errors. But as the set progressed, V Shem-Wee Kiong regained their momentum before sealing a 21-18 win to make it 2-0 for Malaysia.

Iskandar Zulkarnain then took the court, knowing that a win over

Hans-Kristian Vittinghus would get Malaysia into the final. But he was up against an experienced shuttler – something that was reflected in the proceedings. Vittinghus’s started poorly with a misjudged serve, but he bounced back almost instantly to narrowly win the first set 21-18. The second set though, was a lot more straightforward as Vittinghus completely dominated the 24 year-old Malaysian. He was leading 20-13 at one point and though Iskandar collected five consecutive points Vittinghus eventually held on to seal a 21-18 win.

Kiean Keat and Tan Boon Heong then took to the court, hoping to finally seal it for Malaysia. And in the first set, it certainly looked positive. A strong performance from both men allowed them to clinch a 21-10 win, swinging the tie in Malaysia’s favour. But Astrup and Rasmussen showcased incredible pedigree to bounce back and win the second set 21-8, obliterating the Malaysians in the process. The third set summed it all up effectively as the Danish pair secured a 21-13 win to make it 2-2 on the night.

So it all came down to Chong Wei Feng, who was up against Emil Holst. But the pressure was too much to handle as he succumbed to defeat on straight sets, losing 15-21, 18-21 as Denmark completed an unprecedented comeback win.

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