Viktor Axelsen in action© AFP
Danish badminton player Viktor Axelsen registered a hard-fought 21-16, 21-19 triumph against Lu Guang Zu to claim BWF China Open 2023 in Changzhou on Sunday. Early on, both players exchanged overhead smash winners, establishing the tone for a contest of the greatest calibre. Unseeded Lu forced Axelsen to battle for every point and even caused some unusual unforced errors from the Olympic champion while being cheered on the entire match by a fervent home crowd. However, the precise Dane was eventually able to establish a five-point lead and end the opening period at the second attempt.
Lu started off well in the second round as well, outscoring the 2022 world champion 18-12 at one point.
Axelsen fought to tie the game at 19-19 with time running out before winning the next two points with ruthless precision to complete his Grand Slam of Super 1000 championships, which also included the All England Open, the Indonesia Open, and the Malaysia Open.
Earlier on Wednesday, India ended their campaign in the China Open 2023 after the men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy suffered defeat in the opening round.
Shetty and Rankireddy lost 17-21, 21-11,17-21 to Indonesia’s world No. 13 pair of Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Maulana Bagas.
Indian mixed doubles pair Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy also suffered defeat 15-21-16-21 to the Malaysian pair of Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei in the first round.
India’s campaign in the men’s singles ended after HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen and Priyanshu Rajawat failed in their respective opening-round matches on Tuesday.
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