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Monday, January 30, 2023

The unstoppable Axelsen reached the final of the India Open.

FeaturedSports NewsThe unstoppable Axelsen reached the final of the India Open.

Viktor Axelsen advanced to his fifth India Open final by defeating Jonathan Christie 21-6, 21-12 here on Saturday. The world No. 1 – winner of the 2017 and 2019 editions – put on a show of strength to finish off the contest in 38 minutes and set up a summit clash with Thailand’s Kunlawat Witedsaran.

Axelsen used his towering frame to unleash a series of powerful smashes on Christie to take an 11-4 lead into the first break before wrapping up the opening game in 16 minutes. The second game was no different with Axelsen shooting Christy from both ends of the court.

The world No. 4 stepped into midcourt to meet Axelsen’s shots at a comfortable height, but the Dane responded with powerful body smashes. One such attack, fired at 383 km/h, hit Christie in the chest before he could bring his racket down.

Axelsen moved to match point when another smash beat Christie on his backhand and took the match when Christie put the return wide.

“I don’t think I could have done anything differently tonight,” Christie said.

In the other semi-final, world No. 8 Wittedsen defeated No. 3 Anthony Gunting 27-25, 21-15 in less than an hour.

Comeback win for An-Se

In the women’s draw, world No. 4 NC Young defeated her nemesis He Bingjiao 11-21, 21-16, 21-16 to set up a repeat of last week’s Malaysia Open final with world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi. .

China’s Bingjiao took a 4-0 lead into the match and looked very good, with her downward smashes troubling NC Young early on.

The 20-year-old Korean returned well in the next game, increasing her hand speed to slow her return and minimizing the room to break Bingjiao. “After the first game I realized my mistakes and changed my plans accordingly,” NC said.

The third game saw Bingjiao find his range early again with some smashes. He also hit a charming backhand flick from the net after pushing NC to give him a 6-2 lead that soon grew to 9-3 as Korea’s errors multiplied. A run of four straight points from An Se narrowed the gap to two points before Bingjiao opened up a 12-9 lead.

An Se then rallied for five points to take a nosed lead (14-12) and although Bingjiao won the next two points, An Se never trailed again.

Yamaguchi held off a spirited challenge from last edition’s finalist Supanida Kithong to win 21-17, 21-16 in 39 minutes. The Japanese will be looking for a third straight title, having won the Malaysia Open last week and the World Tour Finals last month.

(tags to translate) Viktor Axelsen (T) India Open


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