Viktor Axelsen. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.
In-form Axelsen seals spot in finals

Date: 1/20/2018 1:56 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
World champion Viktor Axelsen has booked his place in the Malaysia Masters 2018 Finals, joining his compatriots Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl.

The Dane guaranteed himself a third successive finals appearance at the BWF Superseries/World Tour level when he swept past Malaysian Daren Liew 21-15, 21-11 on Saturday.

The 24-year-old has captured two big titles since he became world champion in Glasgow, including most recently at the Dubai World Superseries Finals 2017 where he beat Lee Chong Wei in the final.

Top seed Axelsen faces unseeded Japanese Kenta Nishimoto, who beat Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-14, 21-19 in the semis.

“I felt a little bit under pressure because of the drift. Daren had been playing really well from the start, and if I hadn’t been at my best, it could have been different. But I’m happy I managed to win,” Axelsen told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Denmark's Rytter Juhl/Pedersen through to Sunday's final

World number three pair Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen also checked into the finals of the 350.000 Dollars event after upstaging Korea’s number five seeds Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Son.

The women’s singles final will be contested between top seed and World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying and Thai super star Ratchanok Intanon. Tai came through a tight battle against Spain’s Olympic Champion Carolina Marin, eventually winning 12-21, 21-15, 23-21 after one hour and 19 minutes of play.

"I had the third game under control, but I wasn't able to stay calm," the fourth-ranked Marin said.

Even so, the Spaniard said she could take some positives away from the tournament, the first Super 500 event of the new season and a tournament in which nearly all the top women's singles players were in action.

"I'm getting back to feeling good on court, and I have to be pleased about achieving one of my objectives, which was to at least make the semi-finals", Marin said.
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