European Champion Viktor Axelsen finished second at the Yonex Sunrise India Open both in 2015 and 2016. Two years ago he had lost to the home-boy Kidambi Srikanth and in the 2016 edition Japan’s Kento Momota got the better of him. So the numbers were stacked when he faced Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the final of the 325.000 Dollars tournament today. Was it? Not really ...
Because the Dane holds an 6-1 career advantage over Chen (before Sunday's finals) and is full of self-confidence since he took a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics and won with the BWF Dubai World Superseries finals his first ever Superseries title at the end of 2016.
Axelsen comfortably beat the 26-year-old from Taiwan in a lopsided men’s singles final. The world number 4 from Odense was in stunning form as he eased past world number 9 Chen 21-13, 21-10 in only 36 minutes to clinch his maiden India title in front of a packed Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi on Sunday.
“I knew when I had the chance, I had to strike. I am really relieved at the moment. We play badminton to win titles. Today winning the India Open is very special to me, especially after losing two times and getting very disappointed“, Axelsen said to Indian newspaper „The Indian Express“.
“I played with good confidence and high pace as well. I was calm all the way. It was really important for me to be not driven by my emotions and I did not do that today. I am really happy at the moment.”
“I have gotten a lot of confidence. Winning the Dubai Super Series was a huge boost for me. It gave me the calmness during the final and also the Olympics bronze medal. So yes, experience and confidence, ” he said before rushing off to catch his flight.
Carolina Marin was beaten by PV Sindhu
In the women’s singles final, India’s PV Sindhu got her Rio revenge against Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain with a 21-19, 21-16 victory. The Indian, who became a national hero since her silver medal at the Rio Games, was pushed to victory by the electrified audience after 46 minutes of play.
Since the Rio final, it was the second contest between the two singles stars and the 21-year-old Indian shuttler has won both. With this win, Sindhu also equalised her career head-to-head against Marin at 5-5.
Carolina Marin won the title of the Best European Female Player Of The Year 2016 at the 5th BEC Awards Gala in Prague on Saturday. So the Spaniard (maybe) finds little comfort after today's two-game defeat.
In the mixed-doubles final, the defending champions Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong beat Chinese compatriots Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen 22-24, 21-14, 21-17.
In the all-Japanese women’s doubles final, Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto beat Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao 16-21, 21-19, 21-10 to win the title.
In a repeat of the India Open 2015 men’s doubles final, in an all-Indonesian affair, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo beat Ricky Karanda Suwardi and Angga Pratama 21-11, 21-15.
Recent India Open champions from Europe:
2017: Viktor Axelsen
2015: Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen
2015: Joachim Fischer/Christinna Pedersen
2009: Pi Yongyan
CLICK HERE for all results of the Yonex Sunrise India Open 2017.
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photo (LIVE) by BadmintonPhoto.