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Axelsen makes history with second Dubai World Superseries Finals trophy

Viktor Axelsen has become the first European to successfully defend his Dubai World Superseries Finals men's singles crown after a stunning victory over Lee Chong Wei.

The Dane has already had a year to remember, winning in Dubai 12 months ago as well as becoming world champion for the first time in Glasgow.

But his metronomic form is now hitting even greater heights, beating Lee in three pulsating games 19-21 21-19 21-15 to once again stand atop the podium.

The pair took part in the last game of the competition and didn’t disappoint, with the Malaysian superstar looking to build on his 9-2 head-to-head advantage against Axelsen.

And it was Lee, world No.2 and YONEX All England champion, who made the early running to take the first game, despite Axelsen being four points ahead at one stage.

The second was to be an equally tense affair, with the lead constantly changing hands as both players realised what was at stake across the net.

But it was the Danish shuttler who fought his way back to level the game up and set up a decider, with just two points separating them once again as the pair looked on top form.

Heading into the last game of the tournament it was Axelsen who this time stole the march, putting four straight points on the board having been locked at 4-4, an advantage he was not to look back from as he romped to his second straight title.

The women’s singles saw a brand new champion in Dubai however, as Akane Yamaguchi’s fine year on court was rewarded with an impressive win over P.V. Sindhu.

In the longest match on the final day, these two duelled for close to 100 minutes as the Indian took the first game 21-15 to move within one of victory.

But Yamaguchi showed why she became China Open champion earlier this year, reeling off a 21-12 second game to force a third and final effort.

Four early points saw Sindhu go ahead, but from thereon there was nothing to break these two up until 19-19, only for two quick points to go the Japanese player’s way as she secured the win, following in the footsteps of Nozumi Okuhara’s win from two years ago.

She was not the only Japanese star atop the podium as Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto battled to their first Dubai World Superseries Finals title.

They did it with one of the most comfortable wins of the day too, overcoming compatriots Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in two games.

Remarkably the two pairs had only played once this year, in June’s Indonesia Open, with Tanaka and Yonemoto replicating that form to win 21-16 21-15.

That score was to have some familiarity throughout the afternoon – with Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo pulling off a win by the same margin against Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan on China.

Indonesia has enjoyed this discipline following Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan securing a brace of men’s doubles crowns in Dubai, with YONEX All England champions Gideon and Sukamuljo on top form from start to finish as they battled to the trophy.

Finally, there were familiar faces picking up the mixed doubles title, as Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen defended their crown in the first match of the day.

A 21-15 22-20 winning margin was no less than they deserved too, overcoming Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet , who had to settle for the silver medal.