Three time champions Korea begin their quest for another final spot when they take on seventh seeds Thailand in the first semi-final of 2017 Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Australia on Saturday.
The third seeded-team overcame a stiff fight from Chinese Taipei in the quarter-final and ended up winning the tie 3-1. On the other hand, Thailand rode on Sapsiree Taerattanachai's match-winning performances in the Women's and Mixed doubles rubbers to stun second seeds Denmark 3-2 and earn only their second semi-final appearance.
Sapsiree will once again be key to Thailand's success as Korea have quite a few top-ranked stars in their doubles teams. The 25-year-old, on Thursday, won her team its first point combining with Dechapol Puvaranukoah to beat Denmark's Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen.
She returned to court with Jongkolphan Kititharakul when the quarter-final was tied at 2-2 and delivered an emphatic straight games win over Rio Olympic silver medalists Kamilla Juhl and Christinna Pedersen in the Women's doubles rubber.
Korea's world number three women's doubles pairing Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee are a big threat to Sapsiree and Jongkolphan while they also have world number three mixed doubles star Kim Ha Na in their ranks.
With Men's singles star Son Wan Ho holding the edge over his Thailand counterpart Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, the focus will be on the Women's doubles rubber between world number four Sung Ji Hyun and world number nine Ratchanok Intanon as it might prove to be decisive. Sung, who was beaten by world number one Tai Tzu Ying yesterday, has a 8-6 head-to-head record over Intanon, with her last win coming in straight sets at the 2017 India Open quarter-final.
Possible line-up: Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (MS), Ratchanok Intanon (WS), Bodin Isara/Nipitphon Phuangphuapet (MD), Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (WD), Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree (XD)
Possible line-up: Son Wan Ho (MS), Sung Ji Hyun (WS), Kim Won Ho/ Seung Jae Seo (MD), Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee (WD), Chae Yoo Jung/SolGyu Choi