Viktor Axelsen and Akane Yamaguchi win badminton World Tour Finals | Badminton News

BANGKOK: world number one in men’s badminton Victor Axelsen regained his mojo to win his eighth title for 2022, beating Indonesian ace Anthony Ginting at the end of the season World Tour Finals in Bangkok on Sunday.
Reigning World Champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan beat Taiwan’s powerhouse Tai Tzu Ying to claim the women’s singles crown.
The Badminton World Federation had moved its $1.5million flagship event to the Thai capital’s Nimibutr Arena after original host China dropped out of the tournament due to its strict Covid restrictions.
Axelsen, the defending champion, appeared fresh, relaxed, energized and in control as he rode to a 21-13 win in Game 1.
His confidence had been shaken after a surprise loss to Indian HS Prannoy on Friday – only his third loss this year – but he looked like a different player on Sunday.
Ginting also struggled in Game 2 and dropped eight points at the break.
The world number seven struggled in recent rallies but lacked stamina and patience as Axelsen galloped with a 10-point advantage, ultimately triumphing 21-14.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Axelsen said after the game, after dancing on the pitch and thanking his wife and two young daughters in the crowd.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better end (of the year).”
He attributed his solid recovery after two grueling matches before the final to good rest and good nutrition.
A disappointed Ginting said he was looking forward to a great 2023 and hoped to gain confidence.
“I can’t get easy points from him,” Ginting said.
In the women’s final, Yamaguchi won in back-to-back close matches – 21-18, 22-20.
Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Tai had a number of unforced errors and struggled to keep pace with Yamaguchi while maintaining the quality of his shots.
Yamaguchi had a four point advantage at the end of the first game and although Tai saved some game points, the Japanese star was unstoppable.
Game two was filled with impressive sharp exchanges and electric rallies, with Yamaguchi once again dominating.
Tai showed some bright moments but grew visibly frustrated as Yamaguchi edged closer to the trophy and her second year-end championship title.
“My opponent was skilled and strong enough, in the second game I was trying to do my best – to use all my skills and power,” Yamaguchi said after the match.
Tai praised his opponent’s net play and said his own defense had failed.
“His speed was faster than mine, which gave him an edge on offense,” Tai said.
In men’s doubles, China’s Liu Yuchen and Ou Xuanyi outplayed Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, winning 21-17, 19-21, 21-12.
In women’s doubles, Thai sisters Benyapa and Nuntakarn Aimsaard lost to Chinese duo Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan 21-13, 21-14.


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