2021 Denmark Open: Viktor Axelsen, Kento Momota advance to Semi-finals

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Viktor Axelsen beats Lee Zii Jia 21-19, 21-19 in the 2021 Denmark Open quarter-finals. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Viktor Axelsen beats Lee Zii Jia 21-19, 21-19 in the 2021 Denmark Open quarter-finals. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Odense: Revenge was sweet for Denmark’s Tokyo Olympics gold medalist, Viktor Axelsen. The World No. 2 Dane survived a tentative second set, coming from 2-6, 12-16, 17-19 to exact revenge for his 2021 All England final loss to Malaysia’s World No. 8 Lee Zii Jia, beating the Malaysian 21-19, 21-19 in the 2021 Denmark Open quarter-finals on Friday.

In a match that was full of big smashes and tie net shots, Axelsen needed 39 minutes to win the 62nd match of his last 64 matches. The Dane was exuberant after the win, as his arms were flailing wildly facing the home crowd after scoring the match-point.

Coincidentally, when the World No. 1 Kento Momota defeated Lee Zii Jia in the 2021 Sudirman Cup Group D tie against Malaysia, Momota was also moving his shoulders and arms up and down to celebrate his win. Perhaps this type of King Kong-like gesture was also embedded as part of human instinct when celebrating big victories?

Viktor Axelsen will face Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong while Kento Momota will meet Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in the semi-finals.

In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s World No. 26 Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin Rumsani created a surprise when they overcame World No. 7 Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia 21-18, 21-17 to advance to the semi-finals.

Goh/Izzuddin will play World No. 11 Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark for a spot in the final while Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi of Japan will meet Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Seidel from Germany who beat Malaysia’s World No. 16 Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi 21-18, 21-19 on Friday.

In the women’s competition, He Bing Jiao of China will play Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, while Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland will battle An Seyoung of Korea in the semi-finals.

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