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Japan survive Sudirman scare after Momota gamble backfires

AFP  |  Shanghai 

gambled by resting top-ranked and nearly paid the price, suffering a huge scare before battling back to beat 3-2 in their Cup opener here Monday.

The top seeds are bidding to win the mixed-team world championships for the first time, but a major shock was on the cards when the Japanese went 2-1 down.

The unfancied Russians enjoyed surprise victories in the men's singles and men's doubles, before the Japanese fought back in the Chinese city of

Japan, who along with the hosts are the favourites, decided to rest world champion Momota along with their first-choice men's pairing.

They were initially unaffected and won the mixed doubles in the opening But then took advantage of Japan's weakened side with Vladimir Malkov, ranked 62, beating Momota's replacement -- 10th in the world -- and also winning the men's doubles.

But Japan's women saved the day for them, world number two thrashing in the women's singles to make it 2-2 in the tie.

The women's duo of Yuki Fukushima/saw off Ekaterina Bolotova/to save from embarrassment.

"It was a relief to get the winning point," said Fukushima.

"In the end it worked out well for us.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 20 2019. 16:46 IST