China’s badminton mixed doubles pair, Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, suffered their first defeat of the season at the All England Badminton Open on Thursday. The world number one pair lost 21-17, 14-21, 17-21 to their compatriots, Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping, in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The match was highly anticipated as both pairs had been dominating the mixed doubles category in recent months. Zheng and Huang had won all three tournaments they had played in this year, including the Asian Badminton Championships last week. Meanwhile, Wang and Huang were the defending champions at the All England Open and had won the title in 2019.
The match started off evenly, with both pairs exchanging points in the first game. However, Wang and Huang managed to pull ahead towards the end of the game and won it 21-17. Zheng and Huang fought back in the second game, taking an early lead and maintaining it throughout to win 21-14 and force a decider.
In the final game, Wang and Huang managed to edge ahead early on and kept their lead until the end, winning the game 21-17 and securing their place in the semifinals. Zheng and Huang, on the other hand, were left disappointed by their first defeat of the season.
The defeat will be a setback for Zheng and Huang, who have been the dominant mixed doubles pair in recent times. However, they are still expected to be strong contenders for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, where they will be among the favorites for the gold medal.
Meanwhile, Wang and Huang will be looking to capitalize on their victory and win their second consecutive All England Open title. They will face either Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino or South Korea’s Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yujung in the semifinals.
Overall, the match between the two Chinese pairs was a highly entertaining and closely fought contest, showcasing the high level of badminton played at the All England Open. With the semifinals and finals still to come, fans can look forward to more exciting matches in the days ahead.