Axelsen proving to be a real tough nut to crack


Tough fight: Indonesia's Anthony Ginting in action against Denmark's Viktor Axelsen during the quarter-final match.

IT is hard to stop the Viktor Axelsen juggernaut as the Danish superstar once again found his way out of trouble to storm into the men’s singles semi-finals.

Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting tried his best to avoid a seventh successive defeat to the Olympic Games champion by taking the first game but Axelsen seemed to have an answer for any crisis and came out tops with a 18-21, 21-17, 21-12 win in 65 minutes.

The world No. 1 bounced back to race to a 16-5 lead in the second game and despite Anthony’s valiant efforts, the result was never in doubt.

There were some close exchanges early in the third game but Axelsen asserted his authority after changing courts with a 11-10 lead and wrapped up the match in convincing manner.

Anthony conceded that he tried everything he could but it was not enough to break Axelsen’s patience and quality.

Axelsen said: “Maybe you have a little bit of mental advantage but as professionals, all of us go into matches with the mindset we are able to win.

“Today is a close game and I think it’s about the small periods during the game which makes the big difference.

“I don’t think the score gave justice to the game which was intense. However, I’m really happy how I managed to handle and come out on top.

“Ginting is an amazing player and his game is more exciting than mine. Everyday is a new day and if you don’t play well, you will lose and it was no difference today.”

Axelsen wasn’t complaining about having to earn a three-game win in his second consecutive match.

“I feel like a young spring chicken,” quipped Axelsen. “Well, I feel really good. I think it is hard to play well all the time and the conditions here has been tough but a win is a win.”

Axelsen will play another Indonesian, Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie, in the last four today.

Jonatan, who defeated H.S. Prannoy of India, 21-18, 21-16 in 44 minutes, is looking for redemption as his career failed to lift off after winning the Asiad gold in Jakarta four years ago.

“He is the world No. 1 and have won the past few tournaments. So, I have to chase him. There is no pressure on me,” said Jonatan.

Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitirdsan defeated Lu Guangzu of China 15-21, 21-10, 21-17 to set up a meeting with Japan’s Kento Momota. Momota made the semis after Shesar conceded a walkover while trailing 6-13 due to a leg injury.

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