China's women too strong in singles for Japan
Team clinches country's 13th Uber Cup after 3-1 victory
Defending champions China beat Japan 3-1 to clinch their 13th Uber Cup women’s badminton title in New Delhi on Saturday.
China, boasting the top three players in the world, lost a doubles match but their strength in singles gave them the edge.
Olympic champion and top-ranked player Li Xuerui defeated Minatsu Mitani 21-15, 21-5 in only 36 minutes before Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi pulled one back for Japan in the first doubles game, inflict China’s first loss of the tournament.
Second-ranked Wang Shixian beat Sayaka Takahashi 21-16, 21-12 to take China 2-1 ahead before Zhao Yunlei and Wang Xiaoli won the second doubles match.
China ensured there was no surprise in store after its men’s team unexpectedly lost to Japan in the semifinals of the Thomas Cup tournament on Friday.
Li said the team had come into the final confident of winning an eighth title in nine editions of the tournament.
“We believed in ourselves and were focused on our games,” said Li, who won 12 straight points to go from 6-10 down to 18-10 in the first game. “I did not think I could play as well as I did today. I’ve figured in some tough matches with her [Mitani] but today was easy.”