Korea stuns Japan, advance to Uber Cup final after six -year wait
In what has been the upset of the tournament, Korea swept Japan 3-0 to advance to the final of the 2022 BWF Uber Cup to cap off the semifinal action on May 13 at Bangkok’s Impact Stadium.
Displaying their endurance and fitness like they did against Denmark in the quarterfinal, the Koreans won all but one of their matches in the deciding game.
By playing against holders China in the final, it will be their ninth appearance in the title match, their first since the 2016 edition and they are looking to end a dozen-year drought since lifting their maiden Uber Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
An Se-young got the ball rolling in their opening singles, coming back from dropping the opening game before she outlasted world number one Akane Yamaguchi in a 63-minute marathon, 15-21, 21-18, 21-18.
The world number four fired the game’s last six points to come from 15-18 down to draw first blood.
In the lone doubles encounter, Japan had a surprise choice by pitting in their world number seven pairing of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida to face the second-ranked pair of Lee So-hee and Shin Seung Chan.
And it did not matter for Lee and Shin as they swept their foes 21-16, 21-17 in just 45 minutes.
At the second singles, the tussle between Nozomi Okuhara and Kim Ga-Eun also went the distance, with the latter’s 21-12 win in the opening game was countered by the former’s 21-11 walloping in the second.
But alas, the world number 19 upset the sixth-best woman in the world with her match-winning point to clinch the tie, firing in a hopeful smash on one knee that found the open space for a 21-16 decider.