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Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – Danish ace Viktor Axelsen cruised to victory within the badminton closing of the Malaysia Open on Sunday, efficiently defending his title by defeating Japan’s Kodai Naraoka.
The world primary wanted simply 40 minutes in Kuala Lumpur to say his first trophy of the yr, displaying high type to stroll away from the match 21-6, 21-15.
Losing no time within the first sport, Axelsen instantly went on the offensive, raining down his signature pinpoint smashes on a defenseless Naraoka.
He saved up the strain within the second sport towards a visibly drained opponent to safe the victory.
Axelsen admitted that fatigue might be an element within the match, with Naraoka having performed an enormous 113-minute semi-final a day earlier.
“He appears robust due to the lengthy video games he performs. For me, that is a very good factor,” Axelsen instructed reporters.
“I simply tried to play persistently at a excessive pace, and never give him many probabilities. If he desires to win, he has to work onerous.”
The reigning Olympic champion was the standout performer in badminton final yr, profitable eight titles in 2022 together with the All-England and World Championships.
However he mentioned Sunday there are lots of robust gamers able to overtaking him, though he declined to call names.
“You’ll be able to’t predict who’s going to be good. For me it is about minding my very own enterprise, attempting to do what works for me and preserve bettering,” he mentioned.
Naraoka, who performed 362 minutes within the match earlier than his matchup with Axelsen, mentioned the operating took a toll on his physique.
“I felt drained coming into this match, however I nonetheless did my finest. However he used his top, and his smashes have been too robust for me,” mentioned the world quantity seven.
Their conflict follows a hard-fought semi-final between the 2 on the World Tour Finals final month.
Within the ladies’s closing, Japanese participant Akane Yamaguchi gained the title by defeating An Se-young of South Korea, 12-21, 21-19, 21-11.
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