New Delhi: World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen got Bengaluru Blasters to a great start in their Premier Badminton League (PBL) campaign by defeating Mumbai Rockets 5-2 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on Thursday.
Bengaluru Blasters drew the first blood with Korean Kim Sa Rang and India’s N Sikki Reddy, where the pair outlasted Delhi Dashers’ Ashwini Ponnappa and Ivanov Vladimir 15-10, 12 -15, 15-11 in the mixed doubles opening match.
Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng then came from behind to upset World No. 15 Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Delhi Dashers 10-15, 15-13, 15-8 to give the Bengaluru Blasters a 2-0 advantage.
The World No. 6 women’s singles player Sung Ji-Hyun then kept Delhi Dashers’ in contention for the tie by notching up a 15-10, 8-15, 15-5 win over World No. 16 Kristy Gilmour in Dashers’ Trump match and forced a 2-2 tie on the overall score.
However, the Odense-born Viktor Axelsen gave Delhi Dashers a gruesome blow when he sealed an easy 15-11, 15-11 win against World No. 22 Tian Houwei and gave Bengaluru Blasters (a Trump match) an unassailable 4-2.
In an inconsequential fifth and last match, Mathias Boe and Kim Sa Rang of Bengaluru Blasters added one more point to their team by beating Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov of Delhi Dashers 15-9, 15-12.
The Rio Olympic women’s singles gold medalist Carolina Marin will spearhead Hyderabad Hunters to take on a new team this season – Ahmedabad Smash Masters that have Tai Tzu Ying, and H. S. Prannoy in the lineup.