Pengyu fights hard for China's win

NEW DELHI: China's second singles player Du Pengyu is expecting things to get tougher in the Thomas Cup after helping his team check into the semi-finals.

Defending champions China beat Thailand 3-0 on Thursday to become the first team to reach the last four of the Thomas Cup Finals at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.

The second doubles pair of Fu Heifeng-Zhang Nan and reigning Olympic singles champion Lin Dan did not have to even lift their racquets after China assured victory by taking the first two singles and first doubles.

Chen Long kept his advantage over Boonsak Ponsana in recent years by winning 21-16, 21-8 while Chai Biao-Hong Wei powered their way to a 21-18, 21-14 win over Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech.

The 26-year-old Pengyu, however, did not have it easy and had to work hard to get the winning point for China.

He was pushed, especially in the second game, before prevailing 21-14, 22-20 against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.

The 2013 World Championships bronze medallist said the match was harder than the scoreline suggested.

“I reached match point first but had trouble finishing off the game. It’s not an easy Thomas Cup campaign for us as players from other teams have improved and are able to give us a good fight,” said Pengyu.

The top seeded Chinese team will take on Japan in Friday’s semi-finals.

Japan suffered a setback after former All-England finalist Kenichi Tago lost the first singles but they still managed to notch a 3-1 win over France.  

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