Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen celebrates together with his trophy after defeating Japan’s Kodai Naraoka throughout their males’s singles closing badminton match on the Malaysia Open badminton match on the Bukit Jalil Axiata Enviornment in Kuala Lumpur on January 15, 2023. | Photograph Credit score: AP
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 kind to stroll away from the match 21-6, 21-15.
Losing no time within the first recreation, Axelsen instantly went on the offensive, raining down his signature pinpoint smashes on a defenseless Naraoka.
He stored up the strain within the second recreation towards a visibly drained opponent to safe the win.
Axelsen admitted that fatigue might be an element within the match, with Naraoka having performed a large 113-minute semi-final a day earlier.
“He seems robust due to the lengthy video games he performs. For me, that is factor,” Axelsen informed reporters.
“I simply tried to play constantly at a excessive velocity, and never give him many possibilities. If he desires to win, he has to work laborious.”
The reigning Olympic champion was the standout performer in badminton final yr, successful eight titles in 2022 together with the All-England and World Championships.
However he stated Sunday there are lots of sturdy 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 maintain enhancing,” he stated.
Naraoka, who performed 362 minutes within the match earlier than his matchup with Axelsen, stated the operating took a toll on his physique.
“I felt drained coming into this match, however I nonetheless did my greatest. However he used his top, and his smashes have been too sturdy for me,” stated the world quantity seven.
Their conflict follows a hard-fought semi-final between the 2 on the World Tour Finals final month.
Within the girls’s closing, Japanese participant Akane Yamaguchi received the title by defeating An Se-young of South Korea, 12-21, 21-19, 21-11.