Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen rounded off an almost perfect year winning the Dubai World Super Series finals today adding the coveted champions crown to his impressive bronze medal in Rio in the summer. The Dane beat Chinese rising star Tian Houwei in today’s final and had to call on all his reserves to get the match over the line in three games.
The Super Series finals can be a very exhausting event, coming off the back of a long year added into the mix of playing round robin group stages and a total of five intense matches should you win. After taking the opening game Axelsen slumped to a 21-16 defeat in the second game to send the men’s singles down to the final set in the very final match.
“I started off good and felt reasonably good but in the second set I all of a sudden started to feel very tired after a tough competition” said Axelsen in his post-match interview.
The Dane, who turns 23 at the beginning of the new year, showed why he is one of the greatest players of the modern era to come out in the third set and turn things around to win the title he has come so close to doing in the past.
Axelsen took the title and the big payday winning the deciding set 21-17 but had to dig extremely deep to do so.
“I have come close to winning this before and I didn’t want to let it go this time. After the second set I just picked myself up and gave everything I had to turn it around. I had some luck with me and some good shots in the end and I can now enjoy this win and some time off over the Christmas period” commented the new champion.
Talking about the match itself Axelsen was very frank in his summary of the game. “You know it was not exactly pretty and I just had to keep telling myself to get the shuttle over the net and grind it out. 2016 has been an awesome year for me and I can look back with a lot of pride on this year’s achievements”
Adcock’s loose out but issue a strong on court statement
It had been a very tough week for top GB pair Chris & Gabby Adcock. The Brits came into the super series final as one of the outsiders given recent form. Couple that with the announcement of the complete loss of their funding towards Tokyo 2020 they would have been forgiven for just keeling over and exiting at the group stages.
But as we found out once again this week the Adcock’s are made of stern stuff and in the face of adversity came through their group and semi-final to have a shot at the title for the second consecutive year.
Today’s final ended up being a bridge to far on this occasion as Chris & Gabby had no real answer to the power of the fourth seeds Chen Qingchen & Zheng Siwei of China. The Chinese romped home 21-12 21-12 but the Adcock’s can look back on a productive week and can feel safe in the knowledge that they have done all they can to show UK Sport that GB badminton has medal potential and should be funded towards Tokyo.
Chen Qingchen also added the women’s doubles title to her mixed crown while Tai Tzu Ying ended the year as the best in the world lifting the women’s singles title along with the world number 1 spot. In the men’s doubles V Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan came out on top in a close to setter beating Kamura and Sonoda in today’s final.
For all results from today's finals in Dubai click HERE
Article by Mark Phelan Photos courtesy of Badminton Photo