Axelsen heads into battle against Olympic Champion
Axelsen blasts past Olympic champion
Date: 8/26/2017 11:38 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Viktor Axelsen became that last man standing from a European perspective at this year’s world championships as the Danish Olympic bronze medallist blasted past Chen Long of China to book his final berth in Glasgow. 

Axelsen’s games has been getting better with each passing match this week but today’s display against the Olympic champion will rate right up there as one of the most dominant displays of his career. Going into today’s semi final Cheng Long had an impressive 9-1 win rate against Axelsen as was on paper favourite to advance to the final. 

The Chinese star complained that his was the last men’s singles quarter final yesterday then the first semi final today but whatever the circumstances there was little or no chance for him today against Axelsen who was quite frankly out of this world. 

Axelsen raced into a 13-2 lead in the opening set as Chen Long stuttered and stumbled around the court. The Dane sealed the victory with a 21-13 win and even he believed that Chen Long would find his spark and come right back in the second. 

“Chen Long is one of the greatest players in the game. You do not normally expect to get that kind of momentum against a player of that quality so I expected and retaliation in the second game.” said Axelsen. 

The back lash never materialised and it was not for the lack of effort from the Olympic Champion. In the end Axelsen was just too good on the day in a match that saw the Dane play as close to his best as he has done in recent months. A 21-10 win for Axelsen with an almost perfect performance at its core and the Dane now heads into a world championships final against the greatest of all time, Lin Dan of China. 

“It is very hard to put that victory into words” said the Dane after the victory. “I just played at the top of my game and made very few mistakes. It is just a great honour to beat Chen Long and represent Denmark as we are such a small country playing against some mighty nations.”

Semi final woes for European Champions

While the day got off to the best start for Europe with Axelsen’s win that proved to be the highlight as both the Adcock’s and Juhl & Pedersen lost out in their respective semi finals to leave Europe with a single shot at gold tomorrow. 

The Danes were very lacklustre in their match against Fukushima and Hirota, a pair they have never lost to before. The Japanese pair looked stronger in every aspect and the Danes were understandably disappointed. 

“At the moment we are very disappointed, we will always be disappointed when we lose a match, however in these circumstances we never really felt quite right on court, however we are pleased with a bronze medal nevertheless.”

The Adcock’s went down fighting against Chinese pair Chen Qingchen and Zheng Siwei. A thrilling match that had the packed Emirates arena on the edge of their seats eventually went the way of the Chinese 21-15 23-21. 

"We are disappointed. First set we didn't really bring our game style, we more reacted to what they were going to bring and I think it maybe slowed us down a little too much. Second set we played how we wanted to play and didn't worry about what they were going to bring but it was too little too late." 

All the finals day action kicks off at 1pm (GMT) with Europe’s sole representative going for gold in the third match of five. Axelsen is looking for his maiden world gold while his opponent Lin Dan is looking to create history by winning his sixth. 

For all the results from the semi finals in Glasgow click HERE

For a photo gallery from today’s play at the world championships click HERE

Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe

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