(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Indonesia Masters 2022: Unconquerable Axelsen, spectacular Gicquel/Delrue
Date: 6/13/2022 2:04 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
While the reigning All England champion lifted his second title of the year, Gicquel/ Delrue displayed qualities worthy of the best in the world.

The Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen has lost just seven matches in the last two-and-a-half years. His win-loss records this year now stands at 25-1. Given his current form and the willingness to go all the way, the Danish superstar is almost unbeatable at the moment. 

After getting the better of Anthony Sinisuka Ginting yet again in the semifinals, he had an easy opponent in the final on paper. With a jaw-dropping 14-2 record over Chou Tien Chen, Axelsen made it look easy. He exploited his opponent’s backhand defence with sharp overhead cross-court smashes. The world number one convincingly thwarted the former world number two. He won 21-10, 21-12.

The first encounter 
Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue had the best tournament of their budding career in Indonesia. They beat the world champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh/ Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the opener. Playing solid badminton throughout the tournament, the European Championships runner-ups set up the first-ever meeting with the once all-conquering Chinese Zheng Siwei/ Huang Yaqiong. 

The two-time world champions looked a little nervous in the opening proceedings. However, they soon settled in, outpacing and outplaying the French pair. They won 21-13, 21-14, bagging the third title this year. While the Tokyo silver medallists seek to bounce back from the heartbreak even stronger, the young French duo have proven their abilities. Given some experience and a lot of hard work, they are right there with the best in the world. 

Intanon unable to crack Yufei puzzle
Ratchanok Intanon’s greatest achievement in a long career is perhaps the World Championships gold in 2013. The 18-year-old had sensationally beaten the Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the final back then. 

However, she happens to have a dismal 15-2 record against an opponent with a similar playing style. Her latest loss came yesterday in three games. An electric Chen Yufei pounced upon any attacking opportunity that showed up, putting pressure on the Thai all the way. Having lost all three of the previous finals she contested this year, the Chinese ace picked up her first title after the memorable win in Tokyo. The final scoreline read: 21-16, 18-21, 21-15.

Chen/ Jia avenge Tokyo loss
Chen Qingchen/ Jia Yifan had easily lost the Olympic final to the untouchable Greysia Polii/ Apriyani Rahayu. The Super 500 finals marked the Testimonial Day of Polii, as the Olympic champion bid farewell to the sport in front of the roaring home fans. 

On the other hand, Rahayu successfully partnered with Siri Fadia Silva Ramadhanti. Having had beaten the likes of Lee Sohee/ Shin Seungchan and Pearly Tan/ Thinaah Muralitharan, the home favourites emerged as the pair-to-watch in future. 

However, they fell short in the final with Chen/ Jia getting their revenge. They won 21-18, 21-12. Overall, the badminton powerhouse China boasted three titles in four finals contested. 

Delight for the home fans
While Fajar Alfian/ Muhammad Rian Ardianto had to forfeit the Thailand Open final due to injury concerns last month, they more than made up for the loss. The fifth seeds were vehemently cheered on by the home fans in Istora Senayan. The talented Chinese pair of Liang Wei Keng/ Wang Chang put up a good fight, but Alfian/ Ardianto showed glimpses of their younger selves. They won the men’s doubles title 21-10, 21-17 in 36 minutes. 
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