Faced with a must-win situation in women’s doubles Group C, Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen turned the tables on fourth seeds Lee Sohee/Shin Seungchan from match point down.
The Danes had never won a game in four previous matches against the Koreans, who had come to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games having won their last tournament, the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020. Yet Thygesen and Fruergaard held nothing back, turning on their own attacking game to keep the Koreans under pressure throughout.
The match almost slipped away from them at the end as the Danes found themselves facing match point after leading 19-17. They however kept up the attacking intensity and were rewarded with victory at 15-21 21-19 22-20.
“We needed to be ready in both defence and offence. We were more consistent and didn’t give up at any point. It was all-or-nothing and we gave it all we had,” said Thygesen.
“We were leading 19-17, I was telling her it would be nice to get to 20, but again sometimes when we are leading in the end, we have lost, and I made two mistakes, but I think we were quite ready and focussed on the job today, so we got it done. It was a really great match for us today. Everything that we planned we succeeded, so it was just nice to play on court.”
Fruergaard said belief in themselves helped them cross the line when it got tight at the end.
“I think we can play like this a lot of times, but we have to believe in ourselves. And sometimes our mental problems come when we don’t believe that we can play well against the Asians.”
The Danes will take on Australia’s Gronya Somerville/Setyana Mapasa, while the Koreans face Du Yue/Li Yin Hui in the final group matches on Tuesday.
“Of course there will be a little nerves because we have to win. But then again we had to win today, so we will try to get that one too,” said Thygesen.
Lee and Shin reconciled themselves to preparing for the last group match, which will be a must-win situation for them too.
“Tonight we will look at the video and see where we went wrong, our strengths and weaknesses, and prepare to fight the Chinese (Du Yue/Li Yin Hui),” said Shin Seungchan.
→ Where to Watch Olympics Live