(Photo: Spanish Badminton Federation / Madrid 2022)
Another Axelsen-Antonsen clash
Date: 4/29/2022 9:29 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
The European Championships 2022 title match will feature Europe’s top two men’s singles stars tomorrow. 

The Danish athletes Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen are clearly among the best players in the world, with no other European player coming close when they are at their best. 

Both the current world number one and three respectively were overwhelming favourites in the semifinal clashes today. Axelsen hadn't conceded even a single game to his opponents in the previous encounters, and so did Antonsen except for his clash against Kai Schaefer. However, both the semifinals panned out quite differently.

Impressed by Toma Junior
Having lost his previous two matches against Antonsen in under 30 minutes, Toma Junior Popov stepped it up today. He gave a good account of himself, going down fighting all the way for 71 minutes. It was a high-quality match, ending 21-16, 19-21, 21-15 in Dane’s favour. 

- I think Toma played really well and made it difficult. I would’ve liked to close it in two games, but am quite impressed by his progress, Antonsen was all praise for his opponent.

The French youngster won his first European Championships medal this year. 

Arrow-like Axelsen 
The precision, discipline, and power of currently perhaps the best player in the world made for a clinical display. He dispatched off an inspired Misha Zilberman 21-10, 21-11 in double-quick time.

- It was fun to play Misha. I hadn’t played him for a few years. I was happy to see him in the semifinals here and also happy to have won in straight games, Axelsen smiled.

While Zilberman secured his first-ever medal at the prestigious event, Axelsen will have a chance to contest the final against Antonsen this year. He tested COVID-positive last year and his countryman got a walkover title gold. 

The stage is set
- It is always fun, exciting, and nerve-wracking at the same time against Viktor. We haven’t played each other for quite some time now, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s final, Antonsen plainly stated.

Well, Axelsen is up to the challenge.

- It is a great event and the spectators are loud. It is a lot of fun, Axelsen praised the tournament.

- However, it has been a little weird for me. I feel like I haven’t played my best badminton so far. I hope that I will get a chance to do that in the final tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it. It is great to see your fellow teammates doing so well, he finished. 
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