New Delhi: On a day when two finalists pulled out of their respective categories, Kunlavut Vitidsarn and World number 2 An Sue Young enthralled the Delhi crowd which turned up in numbers to witness the finals of India Open 2023 at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.
With five matches scheduled on the final day, the Chinese pairs in Mixed Doubles and Women’s doubles pulled out owing to illness leaving only three matches for the crowd.
It was a fitting finish as the crowd gasped and Vitidsarn broke into wild celebrations after defeating Viktor Axelsen for the first time in his career.
Kunlavut started the match with a lead of 5-2 as Axelsen erred on the sidelines and net to give him advantage. Although it didn’t take the Dane to take control back as he started hitting 300 kmph winners.
Coming in the game as underdog, Vitidsarn had Axelsen running around as he took a lead of 16-13. Axelsen roared back with five straight points to take the lead.
Backed vociferously by the crowd, Axelsen took the game point first but two back to back errors gave Vitidsarn the win in first game by 22-20.
Viktor Axelsen was at his best in the second game as he raced into a lead with both forehand and backhand smashes. Viktor made a cakewalk win in the second game with 21-10.
Former junior world champion, Kunlavut regrouped himself in the deciding game and played long rallies with the Dane to tire him. It clearly worked for him as Viktor looked tired after change of courts.
Kunlavut sank on his knees as Viktor hit one out of the sidelines. This is first BWF Super 750 crown for the Thai shuttler.
Talking about his win, Kunlavut told media, ” “Considering this is my first win against Viktor Axelsen, this is the best game I have played. I gave my all today. Never thought I’ll comeback today but I won.”
Earlier in the day, women’s singles final was the clash of top two ranked players in the World. Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi started the final with superb control and won the first game 21-15.
World Number 2 An Se Young showed superb resilience to come back to win the second game 21-16 forcing a decider.
In the decider game, Yamaguchi was leading 7-4 at one point but An Se Young came back to play long rallies and tire Yamaguchi to win eight points. The brilliant stroke play by the Korean was reason behind her victory.
Men’s singles: 8-Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt 1-Viktor Axelsen (Den) 22-20, 10-21, 21-12
Women’s singles: 2-An Se Young (Kor) bt 1-Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 15-21, 21-16, 21-12
Men’s doubles: Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang (Chn) bt 3-Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) 14-21, 21-19, 21-18