Singapore’s sparkling resistance nearly tripped third seeds Korea’s campaign in Thomas Cup Group A on Monday night, but the Koreans regrouped late to secure an important win. The men’s Thomas Cup and women’s Uber Cup see the world’s top nations compete in Bangkok’s Impact Arena, where Team China is seeking to defend their Thomas Cup crown. On Monday, Singapore were very much in the hunt for an upset. Terry Hee and Loh Kean Hean took on recent Korea Open champions Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae and played at a crackling pace that had the Koreans looking unsure of themselves. Only midway through the second did the Koreans find their rhythm, and from then it was a tight contest, swinging their way only at the very end. World champion Loh Kean Yew, as he had done in the first tie against Indonesia, once again was the spearhead, destroying Heo Kwang Hee’s challenge in just 32 minutes. Singapore continued to be defiant, with world No 88 Jason Teh pushing Korea Masters champion Jeon Hyeok Jin to three games, but Korea was able to wrap up the tie in the fourth match to book their place in the quarter-finals. It had been a close call for the third seeds. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Loh Kean Yew OLY 骆建佑 (@lohkeanyew) “I was able to challenge my opponent and able to perform what I’d trained for,” Teh said. “I’m happy that our team has performed whatever we trained for, so we’re able to challenge our opponents. “As for the results, I’m not happy because we wanted to be on the winning side, but things didn’t turn our way.” Elsewhere, reigning champions China faced an unexpected challenge from the young French team on the second day of competition. In the opening singles match, world No 25 Lu Guangzu defeated Christo Popov in a gruelling battle that lasted almost two hours. Lu had to save three set points to take the first set 25-23. In the second set, Lu held off three consecutive set points before losing 26-24. The match seemed to be slipping away from Lu when he was trailing and had to call for medical help after a failed save, but he recovered to take the set 21-15 while his opponent was held back by cramping. “It was a tough match, very long – I think the longest match for me on court,” Popov said. “Tactically I was better in the third game, I was leading 13-9 and then I had a bad moment physically. When [Lu] stopped for medical support, my rhythm went out and being out of that rhythm maybe led to the cramps. “It’s not every year that France has challenged China, and we have a brilliant team coming up with young guns. Today we have the level to compare ourselves, maybe not win every match, but we can make it difficult for China, for sure. And that’s what we showed in the first match.” In the following matches, singles Zhao Junpeng, Li Shifeng and doubles pair He Jiting and Zhou Haodong all defeated their French opponents respectively, securing the victory for China. In Group D, Lee Zii Jia led Malaysia to a 5-0 result over England, while Japan had little trouble in their opening match against USA.