Japan upset China, title holder and Thomas Cup champion since 2004!!
- 23 May 2014
Japan men's team defeated China in the semifinal of Thomas Cup on Friday, May 23rd. China has won five consecutive titles since 2004, however, Japan won two singles and 1 doubles matches to advance to their first ever final stage.
Kenichi Tago played against world No. 2 Chen Long. Kenichi was solid enough to have a huge lead throughout the match and defeated Long by 21-13 21-11. The next match was the doubles between Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa, and Chai Biao and Hong Wei. Hiroyuki and Kenichi allowed the opponents game point at 20-16 in the first game, however, they took six consecutive points to win the game by 22-20. They defeated the young Chinese pair with 22-20 21-19. In the second singles, a 19-year-old Kento Momota, who won the 2012 World Junior Championships, faced off world No. 6 Du Pengyu. It was the nail-biting first game and Pengyu took it with 25-23 in the end. However, the young rising star Kento showed sensational performance that he took an initiative in the remaining 2 games. Finally, he finished the game with a score of 23-25 21-18 21-14. Japan defeated China for the first time in the team event history.
Japan will face off the winner of another semifinal between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Kenichi Tago def. Chen Long 21-13 21-11
Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa def. Chai Biao/Hong Wei 22-20 21-19
Kento Momota def. Du Pengyu 23-25 21-18 21-14