Badminton fans couldn't have asked for more as heavyweights Japan, China, Denmark, and Indonesia will be in action in the semi-final ties of Thomas Cup 2018 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on Friday, May 25.
When are the Thomas Cup 2018 semi-final ties and how to watch them live
The Thomas Cup semi-final matches start at 6 pm local time, 4:30 pm IST and 12 pm BST.
Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD will provide live television coverage of the match in India. Live stream will be available on Hotstar.
Japan vs Denmark - Thomas Cup semi-final preview
Defending champions Denmark face 2014 champions Japan in what promises to be an exciting semi-final tie on Friday.
All eyes will be on the men's singles rubber between reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen and former world number three Kento Momota. The two shuttlers had a growing rivalry before the Japanese star was suspended in 2016 over gambling.
On the other hand, Axelsen, who has lost six times in eight meetings to Momota, has grown leaps and bounds in the last two years.
"Before my ban, Viktor and I had a rivalry going on between us. This year I've won the Asian Championships and he won the European Championships. I am determined to get the better of him this time," Momota was quoted as saying by The Star.
"He has improved since our last meeting and this match will show where I stand against him."
While Japan are heading into the tie on the back of a 3-1 win over minnows France, Denmark outclassed South Korea 3-0. World number one Axelsen fended off a stern threat from world number two Son Wan Ho as she saved a match point to win his men's singles rubber 14-21 21-14 20-22.
Denmark will start the tie as favorites, given their might in the men's doubles unit as well. The presence of experienced Jan O Jorgensen will also add to their chances of reaching the final.
World number five Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding have been on top of their game while Mathias Boe, who is partnering Mathias Christiansen in the absence of Carsten Mogensen, has loads of experience.
China vs Indonesia - Thomas Cup semi-final preview
China are heading into the semi-final tie on the back of a dominant sweep of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-final.
The Asian powerhouses will certainly start the semi-final as favorites, given their firepower in both the singles and doubles units. The top seeds had arrived in Bangkok with a full-strength squad and haven't put a foot wrong so far.
Apart from having the likes of Olympic champions Chen Long and Lin Dan in their set-up, world number three and world number four men's doubles pairing of Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan and Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen have hardly been tested in the ongoing tournament.
Indonesia, on the other hand, will bank on their doubles pairing of Marcus Fernaldi/Kevin Sanjaya and Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian to do the job for them.
Thomas and Uber Cup 2018 live stream and global TV listings
- US: NBC Sports, NBCSports.com, OlympicChannel.com
- Malaysia: TV: Astro Supersport 4, Live stream: Astro Go
- Thailand: True Visions