Viktor grinds his Ax with Chen

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen hits a return to China's Chen Long in the World Championships semi-final. The Dane won 21-9, 21-10 to reach the final for his first time.
Denmark's Viktor Axelsen hits a return to China's Chen Long in the World Championships semi-final. The Dane won 21-9, 21-10 to reach the final for his first time.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

GLASGOW • Denmark's Viktor Axelsen gained revenge on China's defending champion Chen Long in the badminton's World Championships semi-finals in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.

In a surprisingly short match, the Danish No. 3 seed beat the Olympic champion 21-9, 21-10 in just 39 minutes and will now face either five-time champion Lin Dan or top seed Son Wan Ho in the final. Chen had won the title in 2014 and 2015 and added the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro last year, beating Axelsen in the semi-finals on his way to glory.

"I am a little out of words," said Axelsen. "I never expected to win so comfortably and I am so very happy. I made very few mistakes today. It was nice to get revenge from the Olympic semi-finals. I am very proud of myself.

"Denmark is a small country, but I am very proud that we can compete with the bigger countries. It's a dream come true. Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamt of making a World Championships final."

Chen, who was the No. 5 seed, said: "I will get some rest and get back for China's national championships. Viktor played very well.

"Yesterday, mine was the last men's singles (match) on court and today I was the first."

Later, Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Agung Saputro continued their giant-killing act to reach the men's doubles final. Having knocked out Chinese top seeds Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen in the first round, the new partnership beat Japanese fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda 21-12, 21-15 in the semi-finals.

"It is great to go through to a world final," said Ahsan. "We knew we could do well this week."

In the women's singles, Nozomi Okuhara outlasted Sainal Nehwal of India 12-21, 21-17, 21-10 to become the first Japanese woman to reach a World Championships final. Indonesia's Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir also made it to the mixed doubles final, despatching Hong Kong's Reginald Lee and Chau Hoi Wah 21-16, 21-13.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Finals: StarHub Ch201, 8pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 27, 2017, with the headline 'Viktor grinds his Ax with Chen'. Print Edition | Subscribe