Sudirman Cup 2019: Updated Points, Standings and Schedule After MondayMay 20, 2019
Top seed Japan were given a scare by Russia in their opening match at the 2019 Sudirman Cup on Monday, but they eventually came through 3-2 winners to move top of Group 1A.
There were no such concerns for the Netherlands in Nanning, China, as they thrashed the United States 5-0 in Group 2A. They and France now each have two wins apiece in their pool after the latter also won on Monday, beating Vietnam 4-1.
In Group 3B, Switzerland beat Lithuania 4-1, while Sri Lanka overcame Slovakia by the same margin.
Here are the results from the morning session, along with the remaining fixtures on Monday:
Japan 3-2 Russia
France 4-1 Vietnam
Switzerland 4-1 Lithuania
Netherlands 5-0 USA
Sri Lanka 4-1 Slovakia
Denmark 2-3 England
South Korea 4-1 Hong Kong
Germany 3-2 Singapore
Canada 5-0 Israel
Full results and standings can be found on the tournament's official website.
Morning Session (11 a.m. local, 4 a.m. BST, 11 p.m. ET Monday)
India vs. Malaysia
USA vs. Vietnam
Australia vs. Nepal
Kazakhstan vs. Greenland
Ireland vs. New Zealand
Afternoon Session (6 p.m. local, 11 a.m. BST, 6 a.m. ET)
Thailand vs. Russia
Netherlands vs. France
Sri Lanka vs. Lithuania
Switzerland vs. Slovakia
Japan were widely expected to breeze past Russia in their opening match, and they started well as Takuro Hoki and Wakana Nagahara prevailed 21-10, 21-15 in mixed doubles over Rodion Alimov and Alina Davletova.
However, world No. 10 Kenta Nishimoto was beaten 21-18, 21-17 in men's singles by Vladimir Malkov in a 50-minute contest.
Japan fell behind in the match after Asian champions Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe were shocked by Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov in a thrilling encounter:
Russia had the momentum and looked as though they might pull off a huge shock early in the tournament.
But Japan's quality eventually came through.
They could not afford any more errors, and Nozomi Okuhara put Japan back on track with a 21-6, 21-16 win over Natalia Perminova in just half an hour.
It meant the match came down to women's doubles between the duo of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota and Russia's Ekaterina Bolotov and Davletova.
In the end, there was little doubt about where the match was going when the Japanese won the first game 21-5.
The second was much more competitive, but Fukushima and Hirota triumphed 21-16 to seal a victory for Japan that had looked in serious doubt after three rubbers.
Later in the day, fourth seed South Korea got their tournament off to a winning start, earning an emphatic win over Hong Kong and eliminating their opponents from contention for the title in the process.
The most impressive individual performance in the match came from 17-year-old An Se Young:
The other Group 1 match came between England and Denmark, with the result eventually decided in the final rubber.
In the women's doubles, Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith kept their composure in a decisive third set to earn a crucial win for England. This is the moment they got over the line:
On Tuesday, there will be a Group 1 match in each session. India, seeded eighth, start their competition with a showdown against Malaysia. In the afternoon, Russia will be seeking to build on their encouraging performance in the loss to Japan against Thailand.