The baton may have switched from Birmingham to New Delhi on badminton’s World Tour but Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen was able to maintain his sparkling All England form to net the Super 500 India Open title.
Axelsen was oh so close to the Super 1000 crown at the All England 3 week ago, missing out to Kento Momota in the Championships’ final. But, after battling Kidambi Srikanth, a partisan home crowd atmosphere and windy hall conditions on finals day in India, he claimed the 14th international title of his career at the very next opportunity post Birmingham.
Cue celebrations on Championships point which saw the Dane throw his shirt to the stands.
It was 16th final Axelsen has contested on the world tour – and the fifth since the tour was revamped in 2018.
He is now stranger to finals day at the India Open. This was his fourth final at the Championships since 2015 – and his second career title win. Wind back to that first final four years ago and the 2019 challenge drew similiaries; not least, facing. the same rival in Srikanth. That final was a tense affair with the Indian edging it in three.
Here, 14 world circuit finals later, Axelsen looked every inch the seasoned contender during a first game demotion of Srikanth, winning 21-7. India’s leading talent was more in the groove in the second game but it still went the way of the Dane at 22-20.
It wasn’t the script the home crowd had anticipated but it was one that just reinforces Axelsen’s strength of character to bounce back from Birmingham with a title winning performance