(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Axelsen into fourth consecutive final
Date: 3/19/2022 11:49 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Viktor Axelsen has made Birmingham his second home after securing an impressive fourth consecutive final.

Our preview before the tournament highlighted that since the millennium, only the likes of Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long have lifted the much sought after All England trophy more than once. Viktor Axelsen tomorrow has the chance to become part of that club. 

Axelsen is a worthy candidate and surpassed today’s test with flying colours. In the sixteenth meeting with Chou Tien Chen, the Chinese Taipei warrior pushed the Dane closer in the second game, but the Olympic Champion recorded a fourteenth win. 

-It was a bit of an up and down match. Only a few rallies were physically tough, and I was ready to go three games if needed, Axelsen asserted. 

Although Axelsen was conscious of the slight advantage his final opponent Lakshya Sen has with having played his semifinal earlier in the day.

-He gets to rest seven hours more than me, maybe it is something to look at, Axelsen said sternly.

Ahsan/ Setiawan set up all-Indonesian final
It’s a testament to their iconic status that other players often give complimentary comments on their longevity and skill. They now have a chance of winning a third All England title, adding to the ones they won in 2014 and 2019. 

Today’s semifinal was by no means easy, and it showed in their tired body language at the end. China’s He Ji Ting/ Tan Qiang stunned the category with a World Championship silver medal before Christmas, and look to continue this form this year. 

After securing the opening game, the Chinese pair fought back to force a decider, however, the back-to-back three-game matches in the previous rounds began to catch up on them and Ahsan/ Setiawan used their experience to exploit this.

The veteran pair are looking forward to the final against the new Indonesian blood Fikri/ Maulana and advised them to ‘enjoy the moment and do your best’. 

Another Yamaguchi-An Seyoung thriller incoming
With the young Korean ace waiting in the final, Yamaguchi, the World Champion, made short work of the Olympic Champion with a 21-11 21-13 win. Chen had just played 28 minutes in the lead-up to the semifinal following two walkovers. 

The two have formed a formidable rivalry having played five times in 2021, many being memorable marathon battles. Yamaguchi leads the 2021 head-to-head 4-1, but it will be a fascinating clash tomorrow.

Chinese success in WD & XD
It was the repeat of the all-Chinese Olympic final in the mixed doubles with the same result. Wang Yi Lyu/ Huang Dong Ping overcame Zheng Si Wei/ Huang Ya Qiong in three games, marking also the likely last tournament for Zheng/ Huang who are lined up to play with other partners.

The former world number one pair and double World Champions are no more.

Zheng’s new partner, Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu reached the final after defeating Indians Treesa Jolly/ Gayatri Gopichand Pullela, who remarkably achieved a semifinal finish from initially being on the reserve list for the All England. 

Zhang/ Zheng will play Japan’s Matsuyama/ Shida in the final, guaranteeing a new champion. 
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