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Fortune favours the brave as Axelsen books place in Yonex All England final

Viktor Axelsen believes luck was on his side after he became the first player to book his place in a Yonex All England 2020 final.

The Great Dane beat world No.13 Lee Zii Jia in a three game thriller under the Arena Birmingham lights, as semi-final Saturday got off to a pulsating start in front of a raucous crowd.

And it keeps the world No.7’s hopes of enacting revenge for his final defeat against Kento Momota last year alive, seeking to build on his recent success at the Barcelona Masters and Indonesia Open.

Axelsen and Lee were involved in a close-quarter-clinch during the deciding game in which the Malaysian - and not Axelsen - was adjudged to have committed a fault.

And after coming out on top against his unseeded opponent, Axelsen says he required a bit of good fortune in order to progress.

“I think it was a really tough match today - Lee made it really tough for me but I just tried to stay in there and do my best,” he said.

“I managed to keep calm through to the end of the third game, but luck was also on my side as it could have gone either way.

“I was lucky but I’m happy to win.

“Nothing was in my mind during that moment, really - actually I thought he might have called a fault for me, but I can’t really see as a player whether the other player is right or wrong.

“My aim is to relax right now and recover, and then get ready for the final tomorrow.

“I’m really happy about my form - I feel like I am playing better and better and am physically getting stronger, so I’m really pleased.”

Axelsen lost the opening game a hard-fought 21-17, before levelling he scores with a brilliant performance to win 21-13 in the second.

And a tightly-contested decider saw the No.2 seed come out on top, triumphing in a thrilling encounter to keep his ambitions of going one better this year alive.