China wary of Japan threat

Despite China's success, both Li Xuerui and Lin Dan admitted after the contest that they had struggled greatly with nerves heading into the tie, with Japan's rising starts a tough proposition for even the world's best players.

Speaking after downing Akane Yamaguchi 23-21, 21-14 in the women's singles, world number one Li said that the 17-year-old Yamaguchi was a tough prospect who was only going to get harder to beat.

"She’s improved very quickly," Li said."Generally speaking, the young Japanese players pose a challenge to China."

Japan got the better of China at last year's Thomas Cup, and Lin knows that China will need to be at their best if they are to avoid a similar slip-up in the future.

"I never thought that Japan’s victory last year in the Thomas Cup was an accident because we’ve seen a lot of strong opponents from Japan, Denmark and Korea," he said.

"Next year is also the Olympics so we need to have good performance in the Thomas and Uber Cup."

Japanese coach Park Joo-bong believes that his team are heading in the right direction, and are closing the gap to China.

"Today we lost 3-0 because China is a strong team, they have always been a very strong team. In the last two or three years, our players are getting a bit closer," Park asserted.