Viktor Axelsen Secures the 2023 Japan Masters Title

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Viktor Axelsen wins the 2023 Japan Masters. (photo: BWF)
Viktor Axelsen wins the 2023 Japan Masters. (photo: BWF)

Kumamoto: Denmark’s badminton sensation, Viktor Axelsen, added another feather to his cap by claiming his fifth BWF Tour title of the year at the Japan Masters 2023. In a hard-fought final on Sunday, he defeated the world No. 7, Shi Yuqi of the People’s Republic of China, with scores of 22-20, 21-17.

Highlights of Viktor Axelsen vs. Shi Yuqi in the 2023 Japan Masters final:

Axelsen – the Olympic champion from Tokyo 2020 initiated the first game with a precise and aggressive attack, swiftly establishing an 11-5 lead at the mid-game interval.

After the break, Shi intensified his efforts, securing five consecutive points and narrowing the gap to just one point in a display of heightened skill.

The match remained closely contested, with both players reluctant to concede easy points. Despite the intense competition, the Danish player maintained composure and secured the first game with a score of 22-20.

The second game mirrored the closely fought nature of the first. Axelsen initially took an 11-9 lead, but the Asian Games silver medallist in men’s singles showcased strong defensive skills, staging a comeback to seize a 15-14 lead.

Axelsen elevated his game once again, asserting dominance at the net and ultimately closing out the second game with a score of 21-17. This triumph marked his first-ever win at the Japan Masters in a noteworthy milestone in his career.

“It was an intensely competitive men’s singles match,” remarked Axelsen. “Shi Yuqi proved to be a formidable opponent, and had he secured the first game, the outcome could have swung either way. Regardless of the result, I take great pride in my performance and the elevated level of play.”

Leading up to the tournament, Axelsen’s participation hung in the balance due to a foot injury sustained during the Denmark Open earlier in the autumn.

The Japan Masters marked Axelsen’s fifth title on the BWF Tour for the year, adding to his victories at the Malaysia Open, Indonesia Open, Japan Open, and China Open. Additionally, he claimed the gold medal at the European Games in early July.

Doubles events witnessed Chinese supremacy as all three finals featured exclusively Chinese matchups. In the men’s doubles final, He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu secured victory against fellow countrymen Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi with a scoreline of 21-14, 15-21, 21-15. Meanwhile, the women’s doubles title was claimed by Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu, and in the mixed doubles category, Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong emerged victorious.

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