It was back to business for defending champion China, which raced into the Uber Cup final yesterday, pounding South Korea 3-1 to move to the brink of a sixth consecutive title.
China's Zhang Yawen (back) and Wei Yili play a shot against South Korea's Lee Kyung-won and Lee Hyo-jung during their semifinal of the Uber Cup in Jakarta yesterday. The duo won 21-19, 21-8 as China eased through to the final 3-1.
China, which is unbeaten at the Uber Cup in 10 years, showed glaring weaknesses against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, rallying from 2-1 down after Xie Xingfang and Jiang Yanjiao lost their singles rubbers.
That near-disaster, which would have been their worst performance ever, encouraged the Koreans but when it came to the crunch, China proved once again why it is the best in the business.
World No 1 Xie, whose indifferent form in recent months will be a worry for coach Li Yongbo ahead of the Olympics, had a point to prove yesterday after being humbled by Dutch star Yao Jie.
She responded by spanking Hwang Hye-Youn 21-9, 21-19 to put China one-up.
But the world's top doubles team, Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen, caved in to the pressure of a hostile Indonesian crowd as they crashed 14-21, 21-17, 21-18 to Won Lee-Kyung and Jung Lee-Hyo.
There was more riding on this match than met the eye.
While Xie and Athens Olympic champion Zhang Ning, who is injured and not playing here, are seen as automatic choices for the Beijing Olympics, the third singles slot is still up for grabs, with Zhu Lin and Lu Lan in the running.
Zhu was rested against the Dutch on Wednesday but Lu, the world No 2, showed her mettle to save a match point and go on to win her rubber.
She was duly entrusted with the second singles yesterday and romped past Jang Soo-Young 21-9, 21-12 to stake her claim for the vacant Olympic berth.
Zhu, as third singles, didn't need to take the court as Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen wrapped up the match with victory over Kim Min-Jung and Ha Jung-Eun.