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(Credit: Badmintonphoto)
Viktor Axelsen doubles up on Malaysia Open titles
Date: 1/15/2023 2:38 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Finals day in Kuala Lumpur was a mix of experienced heads and debut Super 1000 final appearances. Experience came out on top with top seeds winning all categories. We saw Viktor Axlesen win back-to-back men’s singles titles, the first since a certain Lee Chong Wei and breaks a big record in the process.

In the men’s singles, Axelsen’s opponent Kodai Naraoka had spent an incredible six hours and two minutes on court, the most of any singles player getting to a World Tour final. Despite still putting up a fight, he did not have the energy to cause the same problems he did at the World Tour Finals last month. 

The match ended 21-6, 21-15 and with this second Malaysia Open title, Axelsen will overtake Kento Momota’s ranking points record set in that famous 2019 year. When asked after his match if the Dane has a secret behind his remarkable consistency, he simply replied.

- I do not have a secret. I just do what is best for me and work really hard.

Resilient Yamaguchi 
An Se Young planned to surprise the world champion and came at her fast, building an early advantage. However, Akane Yamaguchi was able to find her rhythm and ground down An, taking the win 12-21, 21-19, 21-11, adding a new title to her growing trophy cabinet.

This was Japan's first ever Malaysia Open women's singles title.

Second-time lucky for Indonesia
Fajar Alfian/ Muhammad Rian Ardianto were beaten finalists last time, but this time found a way to hold off the power game of Liang Wei Keng/ Wang Chang who were in a Super 1000 final for the first time. 

Strong game management in the end was the difference, with the Indonesians finding the necessary gaps to win 21-18, 18-21, 21-13. 

Chen/ Jia take back what is theirs
Chen Qing Chen/ Jia Yi Fan regained the Malaysia Open title they won in 2019 with a 21-16, 21-10 win over Super 1000 debutants Baek Ha Na/ Lee Yu Lim of Korea. 

Four for Zheng/ Huang
In perhaps the most impressive feat of the day, Zheng Si Wei/ Huang Ya Qiong dispatched Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino in a repeat of the World Championships final to win four Malaysia Open’s in a row. 

For Zheng Si Wei it is five as he won with the reigning women’s doubles champion Chen Qing Chen back in 2017. 

Bonus fact
The last time all five categories were won by the world number ones was the Denmark Open 2018! 
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