Danish star Viktor Axelsen is a commanding presence on the court at 6-4 (1.93 m) and was World Champion in 2017. But even the best players are slowed when injured and Axelsen’s ankle problems last season continue to hamper him … until now.
He declared himself fit once again after a 21-13, 21-11 win over India’s Srikanth Kidambi in the finals of the Yonex Sunrise India Open. “Now I can say that I have put the injury behind me,” said Axelsen. “It has taken a lot of time and Srikanth here knows how an injury can take a toll and how long it takes to come back to normal fitness and level of play. So I am just happy the way I came back.”
It’s the second India Open title for Axelsen, who also won in 2017. In fact, he was one of three prior winners who also took home the 2019 title.
Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon won her third India Open title with an impressive 21-15, 21-14 win over Bingjiao He (CHN) – a player she had never beaten before – adding to her trophies for the 2013 and 2016 tournaments.
“I think mentality is the most important thing, and I think today my mentality was better than hers. I know that she has good skills and I was not surprised when she played difficult shots,” said Intanon.
“People say I play really well here at the India Open. Before I came to the main hall, I saw my record against her and it was 0-4 and I thought I need to break this record today. I tried to play calmly and point-by-point and I played well.”
In women’s Doubles, Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu repeated their 2018 performance with a grinding win over Mei Kuan Chow and Meng Team Lee (MAS), 21-11, 25-23. In Mixed Doubles, the no. 2-ranked Yilyu Wang and Dongping Huang (CHN) won in straight sets and Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang won for Chinese Taipei in the men’s Doubles. Summaries:
BWF World Tour/Yonex Sunrise India Open
New Delhi (IND) ~ 26-31 March 2019
(Full results here)
Men’s Singles: 1. Viktor Axelsen (DEN); 2. Srikanth Kidambi (IND); 3. Kashyap Parupalli (IND) and Yuxiang Huang (CHN). Semis: Axelsen d. Parupalli, 21-11, 21-17; Kidrambi d. Huang, 16-21, 21-14, 21-19. Final: Axelsen d. Kidambi, 21-13, 21-11.
Men’s Doubles: 1. Yang Lee/Chi-Lin Wang (TPE); 2. Ricky Karandasuwardi/Angga Pratama (INA); 3. Kim Astrup/Anders Rasmussen (DEN) and Manu Attri/B. Sumeeth Reddy (IND). Semis: Karandasuwardi/Pratama d. Attri/Reddy, 21-12, 21-17; Lee/Wang d. Astrup/Rasmussen, 21-12, 21-18. Final: Lee/Wang d. Larandasuwardi/Pratama, 21-14, 21-14.
Women’s Singles: 1. Ratchanok Intanon (THA); 2. Bingjiao He (CHN); 3. V. Sindhu Pusarla (IND) and Yue Han (CHN). Semis: Intanon d. Han, 21-15, 19-21, 21-18; He d. Pusarla, 23-21, 21-18. Final: Intanon d. He, 21-15, 21-14.
Women’s Doubles: 1. Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu (INA); 2. Mei Kuan Chow/Meng Yean Lee (MAS); 3. Jongkolphan Kititharkul/Rawinda Prajongjai (THA) and Della Haris/Tania Oktaviani Kusumah (INA). Semis: Polii/Rahayu d. Haris/Kusumah, 21-9, 19-21, 21-5; Chow/Lee d. Kititharkul/Prajongjai, 18-21, 21-19, 21-19. Final: Polii/Rahayu d. Chow/Lee, 21-11, 25-23.
Mixed Doubles: 1. Yilyu Wang/Dongping Huang (CHN); 2. Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti (INA); 3. Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (INA) and Yang Lee/Ching Tun Yang (TPE). Semis: Wang/Huang d. Faizal/Widjaja, 21-13, 21-16; Jordan/Oktavianti d. Lee/Yang, 21-9, 23-21. Final: Wang/Huang d. Jordan/Oktavianti, 21-13, 21-11.