Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen booked a ticket to the final in the Kumamoto Masters Japan 2023 after defeating Obayashi Takuma of Japan 21-7, 21-13 on Saturday (18 November).
The Danish badminton star was always in control and simply overpowered his Japanese opponent in both games.
“I am actually surprisingly happy,” Axelsen said after the victory. “I didn’t really have the opportunity to train before I came here, so I didn’t expect to be in the final. I am very happy with my performance today.”
Axelsen’s participation in Japan Masters was in doubt due to a foot injury he suffered during the Denmark Open earlier this autumn.
The two-time world champion, who has already secured his spot at the BWF World Tour Finals in December, will contest his sixth final on the BWF tour this season. Axelsen also won the European Games at the beginning of July.
Men’s singles Asian Games silver medallist, Shi Yuqi (People’s Republic of China) awaits Axelsen in the final, as he beat Chou Tien-Chen (Chinese Taipei) 21-15, 21-16.
In women’s singles, world No. 1 An Se-young lost to Chen Yufei 18-21, 22-20, 8-21 in a rematch of the Asian Games final. Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung booked the other spot in the final after ousting Beiwen Zhang of the United States 21-12, 21-13.
The People’s Republic of China dominated in doubles with the three finals being all-Chinese affairs. The men’s doubles final will be an encounter between He Ji Ting/Ren Xiang Yu and Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi.
In women’s doubles, Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu will face Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning. Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong and Feng Yan Zhe/Huang Dong Ping will battle for the title in the mixed doubles final.
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