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(Photo: Spanish Badminton Federation)
Hat-trick for Axelsen and the Stoevas
Date: 4/30/2022 6:11 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
While Viktor Axelsen won his third men’s singles crown after a span of four years, the Stoeva sisters picked up their third consecutive women’s doubles title.

The expected match of the tournament between Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen unfortunately could not live up to its highest expectations. A nervous, error-prone, and frustrated Antonsen put up a good resistance, but it was not enough to put his senior compatriot under enough pressure. 

- It wasn’t the most beautiful game. It was hard to control the shuttle and produce a high quality. I didn’t use too much energy throughout the tournament, but it was about being able to win, Axelsen shrugged. 

“Really disappointed”
While the young Dane started the match with all guns out, his intensity soon came down. As Axelsen settled into the rhythm, his opponent found it difficult to put down the shuttle. The world number one defended wonderfully to irritated Antonsen. The Olympic champion pocketed the first game 21-17, which was all he needed to run away with the match. 

- I am really disappointed. I could not get my game going: too many mistakes and no consistency, Antonsen was sad. 

With Axelsen winning the drawn-out exchanges, the defending champion made unforced errors at the net. A frustrated Antonsen threw his racquet high up in the air at least twice and was duly warned by the umpire. There was no comeback as Axelsen clinched his third title 21-15, following up on the wins in 2016 and 2018. 

- I have no excuses, since I was feeling alright before the match. It just wasn’t my day. I need to figure out what exactly went wrong, he concluded.  

Up next: Thomas Cup 
Both the Danish superstars are looking forward to the Thomas Cup next week and hope to lead Denmark to another title after 2016. 

- I hope we can give play really well in Thailand, Axelsen cheered.
 
Stoevas complete a treble
Gabriela Stoeva/ Stefani Stoeva are following in the footsteps of the Danish greats Christinna Pedersen/ Kamilla Rytter Juhl as the best European women’s doubles pair. The Olympic silver medallists had won four consecutive titles before handing down the baton to the Stoevas. In turn, the sisters won their third consecutive crown.

The top seeds and the overwhelming favourites hardly broke sweat in beating Linda Efler/ Isabel Lohau 21-14, 21-10. 

- We are very happy. Indeed, we came for the title and played some good matches on the way. It was mentally tough, since everyone wants to beat us, the Stoevas said.

- Our main target is to win a World Championships medal this year, they asserted. 
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