PETALING JAYA: Europeans stamped their mark as the force to be reckoned with going by Dane Viktor Axelsen and Spaniard Carolina Marin’s lopsided victories in the Yonex Thailand Open which ended in Bangkok yesterday.
World No. 4 Axelsen brushed aside Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long 21-14,21-14 in the men’s singles final.
It was the 2017 world champion’s third title in as many tournaments having also won the Spain Masters in February and the All-England in March last year.
Axelsen was delighted to make a triumphant return after missing out on the Denmark Open last October due to a minor ankle surgery.
Despite the absence of world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan, it was still a confidence-boosting outing as Axelsen overcame formidable Indonesian duo Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie on his way to victory.
“Having not played for so long, I’m really happy that I managed to win, ” said Axelsen.
“There was pressure, because you’re not really sure if you are physically and mentally ready, so it was nice for me to get tested here.”
Marin too finally returned to winning ways when she thumped world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan 21-9,21-16.
The Rio Olympics gold medallist Marin, who has reached eight semi-finals before the win yesterday, was thrilled.
“I want to keep this momentum going over the next two weeks, ” said Marin, also a three-time world champion.
“I feel really happy that I could change my mind from last year. I had a difficult year personally in 2020, but I recovered well and my mind should decide what I want for the future, whether it’s the Olympics or World Championships.”
Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai delivered the cheers to the home fans by capturing the mixed doubles crown after defeating All-England champions Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesa 21-3,20-22,21-18.
Compatriots Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai failed to make it a double joy as they went down 15-21,12-21 to Indonesia’s Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu in the women’s doubles.
Men’s singles: Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) 21-14,21-14.
Men’s doubles: Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) bt Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 21-16,21-23,21-19.
Women’s singles: Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) 21-9,21-16.
Women’s doubles: Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (Ina) bt Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) 21-15,21-12.
Mixed doubles: Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti (Ina) 21-3,20-22,21-18.