Oliver Leydon-Davis and Anona Pak lead the charge for the kiwis on day three of competition at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019.
The mixed doubles pair were up against Ireland’s brother and sister combination, Sam and Chloe Magee. With almost 400 world ranking spaces between them, Leydon-Davis and Pak milked the status of ‘underdog’ for all it’s worth and came out fast off the blocks to surprise the world number 37 duo from Ireland.
Oliver Leydon-Davis/Anona Pak (NZL) vs Chloe Magee/Sam Magee (IRL) 21-17 19-21 21-19
“We played well together. We got off a good start in the first, which maybe caught them a little bit by surprise…In the third we got off to a massive lead and only just held on but it worked out good.” – Oliver Leydon-Davis
Sally Fu was next on court in the women’s singles. Over three long games and fifty minutes, the nineteen year old shuttler was battling against the draft to reach the four corners. After recovering from one game down, Sally regained control and outwitted her Irish opponent.
Sally Fu (NZL) vs Kate Frost (IRL) 17-21 21-14 21-18
“That was a really important game for New Zealand to win. I feel like I played a lot better than yesterday and I was a lot more prepared” – Sally Fu
Abhinav Manota was next on court against one of Europe’s most promising future prospects in the men’s singles, Nhat Nguyen. The Irish player has consistently reached the latter stages of European Junior tournament and was a quarter finalist at both the Buenos Aires 2018 Olympic Games and the LI NING BWF World Junior Championships last year.
Manota regrouped and regained control in the second game after losing the first. However, Nguyen did not look back after a six point run to take the advantage halfway through the third.
Nhat Nguyen (IRL) vs Abhinav Manota (NZL) 21-18 13-21 21-9
“It could have gone better, especially in the third set. In the third set I was getting too impatient and he was winning the longer rallies” – Abhinav Manota
Piled under the pressure, Ireland’s Rachel Darragh and Chloe Magee walked on to court in a must-win situation if Ireland wanted to live up to their first-seed status. The Irish duo asserted their dominance in the first game, before the New Zealander’s started to fight back, but it was too late for Sally Fu and Anona Pak to seize the game.
Rachel Darragh/Chloe Magee (IRL) vs Sally Fu/Anona Pak (NZL) 21-12 21-18
“They played a better game than us today. I think it’ll help us to get stronger and it’s a good learning experience.” – Sally Fu
It all came down to the men’s doubles. The game would completely change the dynamics of Group 3A as New Zealand had already lost their opening game while Ireland were successful in their first match against Nepal.
Ireland was quick off the mark and stormed ahead to the first break at 11-7, leaving Abhinav Manota and tournament debutant, Dacmen Vong, to play catch up. However it was too late for the boy’s to take control and the Irish pair entered the second game with an advantage.
New Zealand looked in contention after remaining in the game until 12-12, before the Irish duo pressed their foot down on the pedal and surged through to 21.
Sam Magee/Nhat Nguyen (IRL) vs Abhinav Manota/Dacmen Vong (NZL) 21-17 21-13
“Pretty gutted we lost the doubles given than we were up 2-0…We had a couple of chances, but I think we rushed it…We will take a break and come back fighting against Nepal” – Abhinav Manota
IRELAND 3 – 2 NEW ZEALAND
Find out all of the results from the competition on the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup website.