Germany's Marc Zwiebler beat South Korea's Son Wan-ho 21-18, 21-17 in the first singles of their Thomas Cup Group C tie on Sunday. - AFP
NEW DELHI: Germany's confidence are sky high after nicking two points off South Korea in their opening Group C tie of the Thomas Cup Finals at Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.
Germany, roared on by their enthusiastic supporters, stole two points from the first and second singles but the two doubles pairs - Yoo Yeon-seong-Lee Yong-dae and Kim Sa-rang-Ko Sung-hyun - came to the Koreans’ rescue by securing two points.
Hwang Jong-soo then saved South Korea’s blushes with a 21-15, 21-16 victory over Lukas Schmidt in the deciding third singles.
Defeat would have been unthinkable as South Korea finished as runners-up at the last Thomas Cup in Wuhan, China, two years ago, and have set their sights on at least a semi-final appearance this time.
Marc Zwiebler, who gave Germany a great start by beating world number nine Son Wan-ho 21-18, 21-17 in the first singles, is optimistic they can take the fight to Malaysia, their next opponents.
"We play Malaysia tomorrow (today) and I think it will be hard for me to beat Lee Chong Wei although I have played against him many times.
"But I think we have a chance to win the second and third singles.
"It will be an interesting encounter tomorrow (playing Malaysia). We still have a chance to make the quarter-finals if we win tomorrow and that is our motivation," he said.
Domke, who beat Lee Dong-keun 21-17, 21-16 in the second singles, said he is prepared to give his all to beat Chong Wei Feng, who is expected to play.
"I am in very good shape coming here. I took my chances today and I have to thank our supporters cheering us.
"If we can win the second doubles tomorrow, we have a chance," he said.
This is after watching his compatriots Johannes Schoettler-Michael Fuchs stretch the formidable Yoo Yeon-seong-Lee Yong-dae to three games before going down 11-21, 21-8, 19-21.
Meanwhile, China began their quest for a record sixth straight Thomas Cup title in strong fashion by brushing aside France 5-0 in a Group D tie.
China, who have been unbeaten in the prestigious team competition since 2004, took less than two hours to secure an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Chen Long beat Brice Leverdez 21-12, 21-8 and Du Pengdu extended the lead with a 21-15, 21-9 win over Lucas Corvee.
Fu Haifeng partnered Zhang Nan for the men's doubles to hand the winning point with a 21-16, 21-14 win over Bastian Kersaudy-Gaetan Mittelheisser.
Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, playing the third singles in a Thomas Cup tie for the first time, and the second doubles pairing of Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan completed the rout.