BIRMINGHAM: World number one Viktor Axelsen strolled to his second All England badminton title with a dominant 21-10, 21-15 win over India’s Lakshya Sen in Birmingham.
The Dane was unhappy that he had seven hours fewer to recover for the final than his opponent.
But it was Sen who seemed drained from his marathon semi-final win over Lee Zii Jia as Axelsen romped to the title without even dropping a game.
“I’m super happy,” said Axelsen. “When I started playing badminton, I never dreamt of winning two All England titles and I still have a lot of years in me hopefully.”
When Axelsen lifted his last All England title two years ago, the spectre of COVID-19 lockdowns were on the horizon, robbing him of the chance to savour the success in front of his family.
This time, his partner Natalia and daughter Vega were in attendance to make victory taste all the sweeter.
“At the Denmark Open, I really realised how much it meant to me seeing (Vega) in the stands after my win,” Axelsen added. “Today was something extra special.”
World champion Akane Yamaguchi won the women’s title in style with a dominant final victory over South Korea’s An Se-young.
The Japanese star was a class apart from the fourth seed as she romped to a 21-15, 21-15 triumph in just 44 minutes.
“I have been here so many times, but I haven’t been able to make the finals and I wasn’t able to win the title,” said Yamaguchi. “I am so happy that I won such a traditional tournament with such authority.”
Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana marked a changing of the guard in the men’s doubles as the Indonesian pair got the better of compatriots Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
Fikri and Maulana combine for nearly half the age of their opponents, and the younger legs showed in a 21-19, 21-13 victory.
“We’re very happy to have won the oldest tournament in the game’s history,” said Fikri.
“We are very respectful of the daddies. They were not fully fit and they still really fought in the match.”
Japanese pair Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida also needed just two games to comprehensively beat China’s Zhang Shuxian and Zheng Yu 21-13, 21-9 to win the women’s doubles title.
“This is a big title and we’re very happy we won,” said Shida. “But there are other tournaments we want to win and higher goals we want to aim for.
“We won’t be satisfied with this, we want to use this as momentum to bring us even higher.”
Source: Channel News Asia