(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Third year-end title for Viktor Axelsen
Date: 12/5/2021 12:19 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
The Olympic champion spent just over two hours on the court throughout the whole event to claim the crown.

Axelsen was in absolute control yet again as he outplayed the three-time world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn. The Danish World No. 2 scored eight consecutive points to seal the opener and led 11-2 in the second game. The final scoreline read: 21-13, 21-8.

It is the third title in five finals for Axelsen. Nevertheless, the 2021 edition of the World Tour Finals marked the coming-of-age of the young crop. 

Bali clean sweep

An Se Young and Dechapol Puavaranukroh/ Sapsiree Taerattanachai won all the titles on offer in Bali: Indonesia Masters, Indonesia Open, and the Finals. The Korean prodigy overcame a third different final opponent in three weeks.

As usual, her basic game was of the highest level as she mixed it with her favourite stroke: an overhead cross court smash. The effective combination forced the mistakes out of Pusarla V Sindhu’s racket. The Indian superstar lost 21-16, 21-12. 

The Thai mixed doubles pair were trailing 18-15 against Yuta Watanabe/ Arisa Higashino. However, a change of tactics to go on an all-out attack paid dividends. The Japanese defence crumbled as the Thai won 21-19, 21-11.  

Silver to gold
Kim Soyeong/ Kong Heeyong went one step better. Ending up as the runner-ups to their compatriots last year, the Koreans were on fire. They destroyed the hopes of Nami Matsuyama/ Chiharu Shida to clean sweep in Bali. The Tokyo bronze medallists extended their lead over the Japanese to 3-0, winning 21-14, 21-14.

The saving grace
Later in the day, Takuro Hoki/ Yugo Kobayashi ensured that Japan featured atop the podium. The country is the undisputed badminton powerhouse, with China skipping the recent events. The new top Japanese pair reversed last week’s result. They emerged victorious in a tough battle against the home favourites Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/ Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. The only final to go the full distance ended 21-16, 13-21, 21-17. 
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