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BadmintonPhoto: Viktoer Axelsen (DEN)
Young Axelsen lives up to his seeding
Date: 8/17/2016 6:56 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
Viktor Axelsen of Denmark has made it clear that he has a lot of nerves going into this Olympic tournament. Which is not surprising since this is his first Olympic Games, where he on top of that went to Rio with the pressure of a 4th seeding at the age of only 22. But the young Dane has shown no signs of weakness on court what so ever. 

He got a tough draw in his group, compared to many others, with two top-20 players. But along with the rising level of his game, so does the expectations grow. 21/11, 21/13 against Korean Lee Dong Keun, 21/14, 21/13 against Thai Boonsak Ponsana, and most recently 21/16, 21/12 against Irish Scott Evans, leaves Axelsen with the favorite status walking into this Semi-final.

Rajiv Ouseph [13] is not to be underestimated in this Quarterfinal. His way through the group and Last 16-win against Tommy Sugiarto [7], really proved that he is here to win. A historic achievement as well, being the first Brit in an Olympic Men’s singles Quarterfinal.

As the set begins, Axelsen seemed more relaxed than the previous matches and gets a good start. Ouseph has trouble getting started and gets behind early on. And the Dane convincingly wins the set 21/12.

In the beginning of the second set, Ouseph is warm, and takes the lead 3/2, and again at 4/3. But Viktor never lets him out of his sight, and takes the lead once again at 11/7.

At 16/11, it is as if Axelsen understands that he is on the way to the semi-final and a couple of unforced errors gives Rajiv easy points. Axelsens defense was very strong, making it very hard for Ouseph to get any points. And the Dane kept his distance by 3-4 points all the way through, and after a long duel at 19-15, he earns his first match point in the match. And at 20/16 Viktor can drop the racket and let his emotions free. He will be the first Dane in a Men’s singles final since the Olympic Games in Sydney, 2000.

Axelsen‘s opponent in his semi-final is Chen Long [2] of China, who won his Quarterfinal against Son Wan Ho [8] of South Korea in 3 sets.

In the other half of the draw, Lee Chong Wei [1] from Malaysia and Lin Dan [3] from China will have a showdown in the semi-final – a repetition of the 2012 Olympic Final in London.

Both semi-finals are scheduled for Friday August 19.
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