Viktor Axelsen of Denmark competes during the men's singles match against Toby Penty of England in the group match between Denmark and England at TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 held in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, May 20, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Xu)
NANNING, May 21 (Xinhua) -- England won a six-hour marathon battle over Denmark 3-2 to keep alive its 2019 Sudirman Cup journey, with all five matches played into three-full games here into the early morning of Tuesday.
The Group 1B tie became a see-saw battle with England winning all three doubles matches and Denmark taking both men's and women's singles matches.
After a 2-2 tie, Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith downed Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen 21-12, 19-21 and 21-11 in the women's doubles to seal the eventual victory for England, who lost its opener to Indonesia on Monday.
In the first mixed doubles match, world No. 10 Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith lost the first game 15-21 to 14th-ranked Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen, but later the Britons stroke their way out to take the second and third games 22-20, 21-17 for a hard-fought win in 77 minutes.
"It was an up-and-down performance, but then they started to play really well overall. It was a good fight and we had the chances there but we missed them," Christiansen said.
In the following men's singles, world No. 3 Viktor Axelsen beat Toby Penty, who won the 2018 Belgian International, 21-11, 13-21 and 21-17 in 58 minutes, tying the score to 1-1.
"I had nice performance in the first game, but in the second my opponent got better in conditions and I was getting slow. It was a tough match today," Axelsen said, adding that China, Japan and Indonesia would be strong opponents for them if they would meet in the knockout matches.
Denmark then took women's singles as Mia Blichfeldt beat Chloe Birch 21-11, 18-21 and 21-12, regaining the upperhand.
However, the fourth match became to the longest one which lasted for one hour and 38 minutes. Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge eventually beat Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 16-21, 21-19 and 21-19 in the men's doubles to level the battle to a 2-2 tie.
On Wednesday, Denmark will take on its second and last group rival Indonesia to decide the top two sides cruising into quarterfinals from the group.