World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen’s incredible streak ends in final, loses to Kunlavut Vitidsarn

Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn breaks Axelsen’s streak; wins India Open singles title

World Number 1 Viktor Axelsen has suffered an upset. The number one shuttler lost in the finals of the India Open singles against Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn. Axelsen lost in 64 minutes to the World Championships silver medalist 20-22, 21-10, 12-21.

The defeat in the finals was Axelsen‘s first ending a streak of 13 wins, dating back to the World Tour Finals. Axelsen won the World Tour Finals last year and began the season with a Super 1000 title in Malaysia earlier in January.

At the India Open singles final, Kunlavut matched every stroke with Axelsen, providing great entertainment to the New Delhi crowd, which was treated to high-quality badminton. From 20-20, the 21-year-old converted his first game point. However, the young shutter was blown away in the second game. Kunlavut also became only the 4th shuttler after HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen and Loh Kean Yew to beat Axelsen in a completed match since the start of the 2022 season.

Earlier in the day, 20-year-old South Korean shuttler An Se Young defeated Akane Yamaguchi 15–21, 21–16, 21–12 in the women’s singles final to add another title to her already envious trophy cabinet.

In the men’s doubles final, 3rd seeds Aaron Cha and Soh Wooh Yik lost to China’s Lian Wei Keng and Wang Chang 21-14, 19-21, 18-21.

Viktor Axelsen

Viktor Axelsen storms into the semi finals of India Open

World number one Viktor Axelsen has made it to the last four in the 2023 India Open at New Delhi. The #1 shuttler defeated fellow Danish player Rasmus Gemke who suffered a leg injury during the first game and had to retire.

Axelsen, who will now face Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, was leading the game 16-8 when Gemke had to retire. Viktor Axelsen has had a tremendous India Open defeating India’s Srikanth Kidambi 21-14 & 21-19 in the Round of 32 game and Y.Q.Shi 21-16, 16-21 & 21-9 in the Round of 16 clash.

Additionally, top seed Akane Yamaguchi beat three-time former world champion Carolina Marin to reach the semi-finals. Yamaguchi, herself a two-time world champion and the current world number one, faces Supanida Katethong of Thailand in the last four.

Viktor Axelsen

Viktor Axelsen thrashes Japan’s Kodai Naraoka to clinch the singles title at the Malaysian Open

Danish shuttler Viktor Axelsen successfully defended his singles title at the Malaysian Open 2023 after defeating Japan’s Kodai Naraoka 21-6, 21-15 in two straight games. The world number one needed only 40 minutes to secure the first trophy of the year.

Axelsen started the match with complete aggression, never allowing the opponent to settle. The tactic paid dividends for the Danish badminton player as he won the first game comfortably. Axelsen continued the strategy in the second game too. He kept up the pressure in the second game against a visibly exhausted opponent to clinch the win.

 

After the win, Axelsen was quoted as saying, “I just tried to play consistently at a high pace, and not give him many chances. If he wanted to win, he had to work really hard.” Axelsen appreciated Naraoka for the way he played in the final. He added, “I did feel tired coming into this game, but I still did my best. But he used his height well, and his smashes were too powerful for me.”

Additionally, Akane Yamaguchi defeated An Se-young to win the women’s singles final. Also, the Indonesian duo of Muhammad Rian Ardianto & Fajar Alfian managed to clinch the men’s doubles finals. The charismatic Chinese pair of Jia Yifan & Chen Qingchen won the women’s doubles. Another Chinese pair, Zheng Siwei & Huang Yaqiong, managed to go past Arisa Higashino & Yuta Watanabe to win the mixed doubles finals.

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