Dubai: Viktor Axelsen of Denmark finally broke the Chen Long curse on Saturday, beating the World No. 1 Chen Long for the first time in eight tries in the BWF Superseries Finals semi-finals.
Viktor Axelsen came out aggressively in the first set and was dominant at the net. His lead was quickly increased to 11-3, and 17-7 to allow him to take the first set 21-12.
Both Axelsen and Chen were neck-and-neck on every surface in the second set until 10-10, before Chen Long started to gain an upper hand to open a 17-15 lead. But the Dane did not give up, he held his nerve and reeled off six straight points as he took the second set 21-17.
“I’ve come close a few times of beating Chen Long, and I finally did it today,” said Axelsen after the match.
The Dubai Superseries final will also be Axelsen’s fourth Superseries final in 2015 and he is set to play Kento Momota for the men’s title. Momota trounced Jan O Jorgensen 21-19, 21-18 in other men’s semi-finals.
The World No. 1 women’s singles Carolina Marin also suffered the same fate as her male counterpart after she was defeated by Nozomi Okuhara of Japan two times in two days. Marin lost to Okuhara in her last Group A match with 9-21, 15-21 on Friday, and missed her best chance to beat the Japanese by losing 11-21, 12-21 against the Japanese on Saturday in 54 minutes. Okuhara will clash with Wang Yihan of China in the women’s singles final on Sunday.
In men’s doubles, World No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan exacted the revenge they have waited two days to get when they sent World No. 1 Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong packing in three-sets with 21-17, 22-24, 21-15. Ahsan/Setiawan lost a one-sided match to the Korean pair in their second Group A match on Thursday with 19-21, 10-21.
Ahsan/Setiawan will clash with No. 4 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei of China for the men’s doubles title.
Meanwhile, women’s doubles No. 1 seeds Luo Ying/Luo Yu will face No. 2 seeds Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark in the women’s doubles final, while Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock of England will take on Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na of Korea for the mixed doubles crown.