Kunlavut Vitidsarn Upsets Viktor Axelsen To Win 2023 India Open

Kunlavut Vitidsarn (L) poses for pictures with Viktor Axelsen at the 2023 India Open awards ceremony. (photo: AFP)
Kunlavut Vitidsarn (L) poses for pictures with Viktor Axelsen at the 2023 India Open awards ceremony. (photo: AFP)

New Delhi: Thailand’s 21-year-old Kunlavut Vitidsarn who had a 0-6 career head-to-head record against Denmark’s World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen before the 2023 India Open final, produced a brilliant performance on Sunday to halt his losing streak by beating the World No. 1 Axelsen 22-20, 10-21, 21-12 to capture his maiden Super 750 title.

Vitidsarn showed little nerve when he entered the court on Sunday by forcing Axelsen to play long rallies and was not afraid of Axelsen’s attacks as the Thai player is well known for his solid defense.

Highlights of Kunlavut Vitidsarn vs. Viktor Axelsen in 2023 India Open Final:

“From my previous losses to Viktor, I realized if I could engage him in long rallies and push the match to the decider then I have a chance to win. I was able to do that today and even after losing the second game, I strongly believed that I could win,” said Vitidsarn.

The win also saw Vitidsarn become the first person to beat Axelsen in 2023.

Earlier Sunday, in a rematch of last week’s Malaysia Open final, the women’s singles World No. 4 An Se Young exacted a sweet revenge by beating World No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi 15-21, 21-16, 21-12 in 62 minutes for the India Open title.

Highlights of An Se Young vs. Akane Yamaguchi in 2023 India Open Final:

In the men’s doubles final, China’s World No. 11 Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang saw off Malaysia’s World No. 3 Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik 14-21, 21-19, 21-18 in the final for their second World Tour title after winning the 2022 Japan Open.

Highlights of Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang vs. Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik in 2023 India Open Final:

Meanwhile, Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino and Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida did not have to break a sweat in both the mixed doubles and women’s doubles finals after Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping and Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan had to withdraw from the finals respectively.

According to a statement published by Badminton World Federation (BWF), both Wang Yi Lyu and Chen Qing Chen were reportedly suffered from diarrhea and had to withdraw from the finals.


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