Axelsen, Yamaguchi sail into India Open final – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

New Delhi, Jan 21: The dominance of Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen and Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi continued as they remained on course for a second successive title, entering the final of the India Open Super 750 here on Saturday.

After world No. 1, Yamaguchi beat Thailand’s defending champion Supanida Katethong 21-17 21-16, Axelsen, also world no. 1, streamrolled fourth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 21-6 21-12 in the men’s event.

In the summit clash, Yamaguchi will face Korean sensation An Seyoung in a repeat of last week’s Malaysia Open Super 750 final, while Axelsen faces Thailand’s mercurial Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

It was a no contest in the men’s singles as Axelsen, who had more time to rest after Friday’s interrupted quarter-final, smashed through the defense of a struggling Christie during the 38-minute clash.

Christie tried to bring the nav down at a steeper angle, but ended up repeatedly splashing into the net. He was also guilty of allowing his competitor to use his trademark jumps. Axelsen also used his height to reach every shuttle that was thrown at him. The result was that the opening game ended quickly with 21-6.

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Axelsen was quick to open a 4-0 lead in the second game, but two errors – one long and a forehand that found the net – opened the floodgates for Christie as he clawed his way back to 6-6.

The Indonesian could not continue, however, as the shuttle bounced into the net twice, as Axelsen had a four-point cushion at the break.

Christie tried to extend the rallies and played some magnificent cross-court net shots, but Axelsen managed to get out with the help of his venomous smashes.

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Another powerful smash gave him eight match points and he sealed it as the Indonesian cleared the line.

“I didn’t have to spend too much energy yesterday, so I was fresh today. I moved well, the shots were good. I’ve played Vitidsarn in three different places, so I’m looking forward to a good final tomorrow,” said Axelsen.

“I know Jonatan Christie is a strong physical player, so my game plan was not to go there and run, I wanted to play aggressively and up the tempo and it really helped.”

Earlier in the women’s semi-finals, Yamaguchi rode on her superior strokeplay to overcome Supanida 21-17 21-16 to make a second successive final.

Cheered on by the crowd, Yamaguchi never really looked in trouble, despite Supanida showing her artistry throughout the 39-minute match.

The left-handed Supanida tried to keep up with Yamaguchi, recovering from an 8-14 deficit to 17-18, but the Japanese was always one step ahead as she comfortably closed out the opening game.

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Also in the second game, the two engaged in some close rallies with Supanida putting on a great display of her repertoire of strokes, but she could not sustain the pressure on the Japanese, who broke from 15-16 to take the issue to be sealed.

In the mixed doubles, fourth seed Chinese pair of Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping of China beat Korea’s Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun 21-15 12-21 21-19 to set up a clash with third seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino.

The Japanese combination had world no. 1 pair Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong 21-18 18-21 21-14 in 59 minutes. (PTI)


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