New Zealand and Slovakia both finished third in their level 3 group stages at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019, fighting for overall positions 25 and 26 this evening.
The kiwi Mixed Doubles duo were fast off the blocks against Slovakia and repeated the same attacking play that saw them defeat Ireland’s Sam and Chloe Magee earlier in the week. From 6-6 in the first game, Leydon-Davis and Pak lead for the entire match, showing no mercy against the young Slovaks.
Oliver Leydon-Davis/Anona Pak (NZL) vs Jakub Horak/Mia Tarcalova (SVK) 21-14 21-13
However, Slovakia was quick to react as Milan Dratva edged past New Zealand’s 2018 regional men’s singles champion.
Milan Dratva (SVK) vs Abhinav Manota (NZL) 21-15 21-17
Inspired by the men’s singles, Martina Repiska stepped onto court and took Slovakia to the edge of victory in their play off match after seeing off the challenge from New Zealand’s Sally Fu.
Martina Repiska (SVK) vs Sally Fu (NZL) 21-10 21-17
“I think I’ve gotten better throughout the week…It was a close game today but I think I got a little bit tired as the week is quite long“ – Sally Fu
Making his second appearance of the week in his tournament debut, Dacmen Vong partnered up with Oliver Leydon-Davis to increase his experience on the international stage. The pair gained the attention of the crowd as an entertaining second game ended 27-29. However, the kiwi’s went on to secure an overall victory in 57 minutes to bring the match back into contention.
Oliver Leydon-Davis/Dacmen Vong (NZL) vs Andrej Antoska/Juraj Vachalek (SVK) 21-13 27-29 21-16
“They played a really good game. The first game was quite comfortable and the second we started defending…but we were really happy with the way we started in the third.” – Oliver Leydon-Davis
New Zealand opened the deciding women’s doubles with a decisive win. However, the hectic week was evidently taking its toll on the kiwi’s as the Slovakian’s took control to win the second. In the third and final game, Pak and Tagle had two match points but simply couldn’t find the answer as Repiska and Tarcalova held their nerve and took the game on the first time of asking.
Martina Repiska/Mia Tarcalova (SVK) vs Anona Park/Alyssa Tagle (NZL) 21-12 18-21 24-22
“At 20-19 we were just trying to keep the rallies going…Both of us were tired and they got the better of us“ – Anona Pak
SLOVAKIA 3 – 2 NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand finished in 26th position at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019.
View all the draws, results and overall standings on the official event website.