Top-seed Japan, who defeated Russia 3-2 and edged Thailand 4-1 during group stage, swept Malaysia 3-0 to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing Sudirman Cup in Nanning (China) on Friday. The opening men’s doubles was the only match with some suspension as Malaysian pair Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, the runners-up at Malaysia Masters 2019, played all out to take the first game before conceding the next two to the second-ranked Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda 13-21, 26-24, 23-21 after one hour and 35 minutes, reports Xinhua news agency.

Then both the women’s and men’s singles became the sure bet for Japan as the second-ranked Nozomi Okuhara extended its lead to 2-0 with an easy win over Soniia Cheah 21-16, 21-13 in the women’s singles, and world number one Kento Momota sealed the victory in the men’s singles by defeating the 21st-ranked Lee Zii Jia 21-18, 21-16.

For the semi-finals on Saturday, Japan who has never won the Cup before, will meet the winner between Chinese Taipei and Indonesia, who were still playing their decisive fifth match, while China takes on Thailand, hoping for a record 11th title from the biennial tournament which was initiated in 1989.