Photo: Badmintonphoto (live)
England got an early, unexpected advantage as Fontaine Chapman reached far above her #73 world ranking to dispatch #27 and former U.S. Open champion Pai Hsiao Ma in straight games. The seeded Asians took the remaining two points in singles but England was able to count on its strong doubles pairs to take the two points it needed to win the tie.
“This was an excellent victory in the opening tie. Fontaine produced a fine win in the first match to set the team on course to victory,” team leader Pete Jeffrey was quoted as saying in a Badminton England press release. “She played an attacking style and after a tight first game settled well and dominated the second.
“I’m really pleased with the girls’ performances today. Everyone brought a good level to their matches and we had an excellent spirit throughout the team.”
Germany was close to an upset of 2012 runner-up Korea as Marc Zwiebler and Dieter Domke took the first two singles points. A tantalizing chance went begging in the first doubles, though, as Michael Fuchs and Johannes Schoettler were unable to sustain a promising lead in their third game with world #10 Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong.