Viktor Axelsen delighted to win Dubai World Superseries Finals but disappointment for India's PV Sindhu
Dane beats Lee Chong Wei in men's final and is joined by women's winner Akane Yamaguchi on honours board
Viktor Axelsen retained the men’s singles title at the Dubai World Superseries Finals after a titanic battle over Malaysian Lee Chong Wei at the Hamdan Sports Complex on Sunday.
Joining the Dane on the honours board on the night was Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi who downed PV Sindhu to claim the women’s singles final in a marathon 94 minutes.
Axelsen, 23, clawed his way back from defeat in the first game to level the match before the world No 1 held the edge throughout the decider. He eventually won 19-21, 21-19, 21-15 against the 35-year-old Malaysian veteran and winner of three Olympic silver medals.
Like Axelsen, Yamaguchi was at the top of her game. She, too, rallied from a game down to win 15-21, 21-12, 21-19 in a final that had the crowd in awe, particularly the deciding third that lasted 34 minutes.
The scores were 19 all, and it was Sindhu who cracked under pressure when she hit the net twice to finally surrender the decider after holding every chance of a first Superseries final.
While the top seeded Yamaguchi celebrated, Sindhu had to settle for a third silver medal in as many major finals – she also finished second-best at the 2016 Rio Olympics and World Championships.
“There was a significant Japanese presence in the crowd and they kept going when I was tired,” Yamaguchi said in the post-match television interview.
“I like in Dubai. The atmosphere is terrific. It was a terrific final and we were both very tired. I had a little bit more in the tank at the end, and I’m glad I made it.”
Men’s singles Vicktor Axelsen (DEN) bt Lee Chong Wei (MAS) 19-21, 21-19, 21-15
Women’s singles Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) bt PV Sindhu (IND) 15-21, 21-12, 21-19
Men’s doubles Marcus Gideon/Kevin Sukamuljo (INA) bt Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan (CHN) 21-16, 21-15
Women’s doubles Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto (JPN) bt Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPN) 21-15, 21-16
Mixed doubles Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen (CHN) bt Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet (HK) 21-15, 22-20
Updated: December 17, 2017 11:41 PM