In the last of the Group 3A matches, New Zealand faced Nepal on Wednesday evening. The two teams will be playing for third and fourth position within the group, which will determine the overall position they play for on Friday.
Oliver Leydon-Davis and Anona Pak got New Zealand off to a prominent start with a strong performance that saw the pair take the game in two after just twenty minutes.
Oliver Leydon-Davis/Anona Pak (NZL) vs Dipesh Dhami/Amita Giri (NEP) 21-7 21-7
“It was hard to prepare for this match as we didn’t know much about them. He was a strong opponent and had some crazy shots which we had to deal with“ – Oliver Leydon-Davis
New Zealand’s Sally Fu got off to a shaky start in the first end of the women’s single. A lucky net call allowed the kiwi to take the first game, before regaining focus. Sally surged through the second end after six consecutive points saw her through to the finish line.
Sally Fu (NZL) vs Nangsal Tamang (NEP) 23-21 21-12
“Towards the end I got my focus back and made a comeback. Luckily one of my last shots hit the net and went over so I got really lucky“ – Sally Fu
The VICTOR Oceania Junior Men’s Singles Champion, Edward Lau, was called to make his tournament debut against Nepal. After falling out of touch with the pace of the first game, Lau regrouped to contend in several lengthy rallies throughout the second.
With two game points, Lau seemed comfortable playing on the international stage. However, the resilience of Nepal’s Ratnajit Tamang shone through as took the game on his first match point opportunity.
Ratnajit Tamang (NEP) vs Edward Lau (NZL) 21-10 24-22
“I was controlling the pace better in the second game. I was quite nervous at the start but then I found my game“ – Edward Lau
Also making her tournament debut, Justine Villegas was selected to take on the women’s doubles alongside Alyssa Tagle. In the first game, the pair managed to find their rhythm when they needed it the most, before taking control of the second end and refusing to let go of the lead.
Alyssa Tagle/Justine Villegas (NZL) vs Amita Giri/Nangsal Tamang (NEP) 21-17 21-15
“It’s hard to focus when the crowd are supporting China so loud, but we had an idea of what they were like from when they played Australia“ – Alyssa Tagle
Finally, Leydon-Davis returned to court with Abhinav Manota in the men’s doubles. The kiwi pair are pursuing Olympic qualification and were delighted to come away from the Sudirman Cup with a win against the higher-ranked Nepalese pair.
“It’s nice to finish on a win. We’ve played better throughout the tournament…We’re happy with a comfortable win in the third set“ – Oliver Leydon-Davis
Oliver Leydon-Davis/Abhinav Manota (NZL) vs Dipesh Dhami/Ratnajit Tamang (NEP) 21-19 21-23 21-13
NEW ZEALAND 4 – 1 NEPAL
By finishing in third place in Group 3A, New Zealand will now take on the equivalent in Group 3B (Slovakia) on Friday 24 May from 11am.
Follow the draws and results of the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 here.