Kuala Lumpur: While growing up, the 183cm Anders Antonsen would often watch Peter Gade, Taufik Hidayat, Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei showed off their exceptional badminton skills on different tournaments.
On Sunday, the 21-year-old Denmark, playing without a coach, was able to put himself in the spotlight of the highest level of badminton by outlasting World No. 1 Kento Momota to win his first ever Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 500 tournament.
Antonsen was quick around the court, anticipating everything and pulling the trigger with strong smashes that were able to pierce through Momota’s defense, stunning the reigning World Champion Kento Momota 21-16, 14-21 and 21-16 in 79 minutes.
“I would like to thank the fans for their support. I’ve always wanted to win one of these titles since I was a kid, and I finally won one,” said Antonsen.
“I am really excited about the victory,” added the 21-year-old shuttler from Denmark.
Anders Antonsen enroute to the final by beating Son Wan Ho (last week’s Malaysia Masters champion) in the first round, and was able to overcome home favorite and Asian Games gold medalist Jonatan Christie on in the semi-finals.
“Antonsen’s attacks were much stronger and his defense was also solid,” said Momota after the match.
It’s worth noting that due to an ongoing sponsorship disputes with Badminton Denmark, the World No. 20 players was playing without a coach in the final.
In an all-Indonesian men’s doubles final, World No. 1 men’s doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo won the only title for the host as they eased past former World Champions, Muhammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 21-17 and 21-11.
“It’s a fast pace game, we tried to keep our focus because we could not afford to make mistakes,” said Gideon.