Tai Tzu Ying’s Triumph and Viktor Axelsen’s Victory: Highlights from BWF World Tour Finals 2023

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Viktor Axelsen claimed a record fifth season-ending championship at the 2023 BWF World Tour Finals in Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China on Sunday (17 December).

Denmark’s Olympic champion was simply too strong for 2018 winner Shi Yuqi, easing to 21-11, 21-12 in 49 minutes.

After shaking hands with his opponent and the umpire, Axelsen fell to his knees on the court and roared loudly to the crowd before hurling his racket into the stands to their approval.

The victory saw him break a tie of four season-ending titles with Lee Chong Wei and equalled the Malaysian’s record of three consecutive crowns.

The players were tied at 9-9 in the opening game, but Axelsen then scored nine consecutive points as he took control.

The second game was almost identical in nature with the Dane this time pulling clear from 8-8, winning nine of the next 10 points.

Shi made numerous errors from overheads, and a sign of his scrambled thinking came at 9-16. He should have put away a short Axelsen lift but opted for a more difficult disguised drop shot and only found the net.

Moments later, Axelsen secured victory to create yet more badminton history.

Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei produced another sensational comeback to beat Carolina Marin in the women’s singles final earlier on Sunday.

On Saturday, Tai somehow came back from a game and 10-19 down to world number one An Se-young, saving four match points in the process.

Here, she rallied from a game and 4-1 down to win 12-21, 21-14, 21-18 in an hour and 13 minutes and claim a record fourth BWF season-ending crown.

The pair’s head-to-head stood at 11-11 before this encounter with Marin – seeking her first end-of-season title – winning their last meeting in October’s Denmark Open.

The Spaniard moved clear early in the first game, covering Tai’s drop shots with ease to take an 11-6 lead into the interval.

Marin kept up the pressure to wrap up the opening game in just 21 minutes, and went 4-1 in front in the second before going into the mid-game break 11-9 up.

But Tai, staring at defeat as she had on Saturday, started to find success by manouevring the left-hander around the court.

Tai won six points in a row to take control of the second game and, with Marin suddenly looking leaden-footed, the 29-year-old quickly levelled the contest.

The error-count was high from both women at the start of the decider, but Tai played a magnificent angled drop shot which brushed the net to level the scores at 9-9 before taking an 11-10 advantage into the changeover.

To the delight of the crowd, she then won eight of the next 11 points before converting her third championship point to regain the title she last won in 2020.

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