Viktor Axelsen to face Chen Long in China Open final

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Viktor Axelsen and Chen Long to face off at the 2017 China Open final. (photo: AFP)
Viktor Axelsen and Chen Long to face off at the 2017 China Open final. (photo: AFP)

Fuzhou: No. 1 seed Viktor Axelsen is having one of the best runs of his career this year by reaching his fourth final of the year at the China Open, in Fuzhou on Saturday. He will set up mouth-watering summit clash with China’s Olympic champion Chen Long on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Axelsen, who is the reigning world champion, needed only 39 minutes to ease past Angus Ng Ka-long of Hong Kong 21-12, 21-17 in the semi-finals.

On the other hand, Chen Long was forced to work hard to overcome some semi-final wobbles progressing to the final. Chen who hasn’t been at the top of his game since winning the Olympic gold medal, fought back from a set down to beat Korea’s No. 2 seed Son Wan-Ho 21-17, 10-21, 21-7 in 71 minutes.

Chen, 28, held a 7-1 career meeting record against Axelsen ahead of Sunday’s final.

In men’s doubles, the fast and furious World No. 1 pair and top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia were showing off their dazzling offenses and fast-court movements to outlast the “Twin Towers” from China, beating No. 4 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen 21-14, 21-18 in 34 minutes.

The Indonesians will take on No. 2 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the final. Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen had defeated Gideon/Sukamuljo 3 times in their 4 meetings this year, Gideon/Sukamuljo recorded their only victory against the Danes in the semi-final of Japan where they beat Boe/Mogensen 21-15, 21-14.

In mixed doubles, playing in their third tournament together, Mathias Christiansen/Christinna Pedersen of Denmark put on an ambitious display to see off home favorites and this year’s Japan Open winners Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping 21-16, 24-22. Christiansen/Pedersen will play another Chinese pair No. 5 seeds Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong in the final.

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