The Chinese women's badminton team swept Canada 5-0 to win their opener at the 2021 Uber Cup in the Ceres Arena here on Saturday.
In other matches on the opening day, Thailand prevailed over Chinese Taipei 3-2, Indonesia defeated Germany 4-1, Japan blanked France 5-0, Denmark handed Malaysia a 4-1 defeat and South Korea thrashed Tahiti 5-0.
But all eyes were China as they started their campaign in style.
World No.9 He Bingjiao set off to a good start for China, beating Michelle Li who retired due to a reoccurring foot injury after losing the first set to He 21-12. "I did not want to hurt anymore today. Maybe I pushed one of the steps too hard. After that, I don't want to get things worse," said the 29-year-old Olympian.
Being the highest ranked shuttler ever in Canada, the world No. 11 told Xinhua that she spent lots of time healing and did not want to take any setbacks. "I'm looking forward to the future tournaments. This is a smart move for bigger picture. I want to go back to Canada and continue rehab for some time," said Li.
Li Wenmei and Zheng Yu then defeated Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai 21-10, 21-13 in the doubles to grant China a 2-0 lead. The two pairs had played once in 2018 and Zheng recalled it not an easy one, reports Xinhua.
The third match featured two young talents from both sides. 21-year-old Wang Zhiyi smashed 17-year-old Rachel Chan 21-19, 21-13 in their Uber Cup debut.
"I saw Chan's games in the Sudirman Cup. She has strong play, a bit closer to men's style. It's not surprising that we were playing so close in the first set. We were trying to challenge each other," said Wang. "The tempo is not right for me but I can manage it."
"I'm always looking forward to the chance to participate in the team event where I can improve quickly," Wang said in excitement, talking about her first Uber Cup tour.
In the following doubles, Chinese duo Liu Xuanxuan and Xia Yuting collected their easy win over Catherine Choi and Talia Ng 21-6, 21-4 in 26 minutes. In the final match, 21-year-old Han Yue overwhelmed 19-year-old Zhang Wenyu 21-12, 21-7, sealing the victory for China.
The Chinese team will face Malaysia on Sunday.
( 402 Words)