Viktor Axelsen and Akane Yamaguchi entered their respective finals as odds-on favorites but lost to smaller challengers in front of capacity crowds at the BWF India Open in New Delhi on Sunday. Axelsen has a 6-0 record against Thailand’s Kinlawat Witedsaran while Yamaguchi has a 10-5 record over Korean opponent NC Young. It didn’t matter that day as the two youngsters defeated their famous rivals in three games to claim their maiden India Open title.
Witedsern displayed great courage and a complete all-round game to win 22-20, 10-21, 21-12 in 64 minutes. While the Thai didn’t give Axelsen many opportunities to unleash his smashes — the way he tormented Jonathan Christie in Saturday’s semi-final — the Dane’s numerous unforced errors kept Wittedsen in the hunt. .
Axelsen looked a little off color to begin with, his early smashes finding the net time and time again. Wiedersen rarely tossed into the backcourt, relying on his defense to deal with Axelsen’s powerful returns from the center of the court. His body saves were particularly impressive as was his decision to let some powerful blocks go past the baseline. When the opportunity presented itself, Wittsern turned up his attacking game as well, ripping a down-the-line smash in the first game that Axelsson had no trouble chasing down.
The change of ending suited Axelsson as he looked much better in the second game. He built a 13-5 lead and the under-pressure Witedsern started to bounce his lines. Axelsen’s smashes found their range again as errors became less frequent, meaning the 29-year-old world champion began to control rallies and dictate the pace. Despite not being at his dominant best, Axelsen’s 21-10 second-game win was a strong testament to his superior play.
The decisive affair ended as Tal left Axelsen completely. From a 4-3 lead, Axelsen slipped to a 7-11 deficit as Vitidsarn blocked and broke the body with ease. Soon, Axelsen’s game began to suffer errors and the Thai team took the match when the Olympic champion returned to the net.
“Overall, my attack and presence on the court was not good today. If I had taken the first game, it would have made a difference,” Axelsen said.
A Se- young man won.
Ann and Yamaguchi had a repeat of last week’s Malaysia Open final but the 20-year-old Korean made sure there was no repeat of the result as he defeated the world No.1 15-21, 21-16, 21- . 12 in 62 minutes.
Came back strong after an error-prone first game. His placements improved as Yamaguchi began to hit wide. The Japanese overhead returns from the backcourt that had been finding lines in the first game began to miss their mark. One began to use drop shots more freely, often hitting Yamaguchi in the lung.
“After the first game, I made a conscious effort to minimize my mistakes. I don’t think Yamaguchi made too many mistakes. We both ran well and played well. I think he gave me a lot in the first game. ran more. After that, I was determined to reduce my mistakes,” said Anne, who came in at No.4.
The doubles saw two withdrawals, both involving Chinese pairs, handing the titles to their Japanese rivals due to ill health.
Wang Yi Liu, due to play in the mixed doubles final with Huang Dongping against Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, and Chen Qingchen, partner Jia Yifan, against Japan’s Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida. Fell ill with diarrhea and withdrew. .