(Photo: BWF / Badmintonphoto)
Five for Axelsen
Date: 12/17/2023 1:41 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Viktor Axelsen receives the best Christmas present when winning the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2023 for the third time in a row and a record five season finale wins overall.

Axelsen began his campaign this week in Hangzhou with a loss against home favourite Shi Yu Qi, leaving him a little unsure of where his level is. Growing into the tournament, taking it step by step, the Dane found himself in a fourth consecutive World Tour Finals final, becoming the only male player to do so. 

Axelsen would need to reverse that result from the group stage. He got off to the perfect start, staying patient before methodically working towards a 21-11 opening game.

Shi dug deep in the second game and began to find winners. However, winning shots are never in short supply for Axelsen and as they exchanged blows, it was the world number one who found them more often, winning 21-11, 21-12. Axelsen celebrated in front of a stunned crowd, showing five fingers before symbolically putting them in his pocket. 

Marin falls at final hurdle
Carolina Marin was so close in the 2020 final, where she narrowly lost out to Tai Tzu Ying. The two met again today with the Spaniard determined to win her first season finale. 

Much like three years ago, Marin bolted out of the blocks to win the opening game, only for Tai to final her groove and force a decider. 

Despite a late push from Marin, it was Tai who was celebrating another title, winning 12-21, 21-14, 21-18.

The champions
The surprise men’s doubles world champions from this year, Kang Min Hyuk/ Seo Seung Jae, made a statement today, defeating Liang Wei Keng/ Wang Chang in front of a Chinese crowd, saving four game points to steal the win, 21-17, 22-20.  

Home favourites Chen Qing Chen/ Jia Yi Fan did not disappoint, defeating Korea’s Baek Ha Na/ Lee So Hee 21-16, 21-16, picking up their fourth season finale win together. 

In the mixed doubles, Zheng Si Wei/ Huang Ya Xiong and Feng Yan Zhe/ Huang Dong Ping put on a show in an all-Chinese final. Zheng/ Huang powered through to win 21-11, 21-18, winning their third season finale together.

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