Viktor Axelsen Dominates The 2023 China Open

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Viktor Axelsen wins the 2023 China Open title. (photo: YouTube)
Viktor Axelsen wins the 2023 China Open title. (photo: YouTube)

Changzhou: In a thrilling men’s singles face-off in the 2023 China Open final, Denmark’s World No. 1, Viktor Axelsen, solidified his reputation as the best men’s singles player on the badminton courts. Commanding attention from the first shuttlecock serve, Axelsen vanquished China’s own Lu Guangzu in a gripping 21-16, 21-19 match, claiming the Super 1000 title and he also pocketed a cool USD $140,000 prize money.

Highlights of Viktor Axelsen vs. Lu Guangzu in the 2023 China Open final:

Rewinding to the semi-finals on Saturday, Axelsen, aged 29, showed no mercy as he outplayed Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie in straight sets. Lu Guangzu, meanwhile, secured his spot in the final by besting fellow countryman Shi Yuqi. With their past face-offs resulting in Axelsen’s favor all 5 times, the stage was set for a titanic battle on Sunday.

In the heat of the first game, Lu Guangzu momentarily seemed to be an equal match for Axelsen. But as the game progressed, the Danish sensation cranked up the intensity. Lu struggled to match his pace, letting Axelsen widen the gap, eventually ceding the first game 21-16.

The second set saw Lu buoyed by the roaring home crowd, even leading at one point 18-12. But, Axelsen, displaying his championship mettle, retaliated with a staggering 9-1 run, sealing the game at 21-19 after an intense 49-minute clash.

This victory marks Axelsen’s remarkable fourth title of the year, having previously clinched titles in Malaysia Open, Indonesia Open, and Japan Open.

Meanwhile, in the doubles category, it was a heart-wrenching day for Malaysian fans as the sole representatives from Malaysia, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik found themselves overpowered by China’s Liang Weikeng/Wang Chang, falling in straight sets 12-21, 14-21. Hopes were high for Chia/Soh to break a 6-year championship drought, but it wasn’t to be.

Highlights of Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik vs. Liang Weikeng/Wang Chang in the 2023 China Open final:

A somber Soh took to his social media, revealing a sudden bout of high fever the previous night that sapped his strength. “I owe an apology to all Malaysians,” he penned, expressing his deep disappointment and determination to clinch a title someday. Partner Chia expressed similar sentiments, lamenting their uncharacteristic errors.

This latest setback isn’t the duo’s first. Despite bagging a bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a world championship last year, a BWF World Tour title continues to elude them. But hope springs eternal, with the pair set to compete in the Hong Kong Open next week and later focusing on the Hangzhou Asian Games from September 23 to October 8. The quest for glory continues.

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