Axelsen advances to semi-finals
November 26 2021 11:22 PM
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Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in action against India’s Sai Praneeth B during the men’s singles quarter-f
Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in action against India’s Sai Praneeth B during the men’s singles quarter-final match at the Indonesia Open in Nusa Dua on the resort island of Bali yesterday. (AFP)

AFP/ Jakarta

Olympic gold medallist Viktor Axelsen netted a ticket to the Indonesia Open semi-finals after securing an easy two-game victory over India’s Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth yesterday. The tournament, held in Bali without fans and in a coronavirus bubble, is the second of three back-to-back competitions culminating in the season-ending World Tour Finals.
Axelsen beat Praneeth 21-12, 21-8 in a 36-minute game and is now the hot favourite to win the men’s singles after his compatriot Anders Antonsen withdrew hours before his match after a chest injury flared up again yesterday.
That withdrawal gave hometown star Jonatan Christie a walkover win that automatically grants him a semi-final spot. World number one Kento Momota, who won the Indonesia Masters title last week, also exited the competition in the group round 16 on Thursday after a bitter defeat.
Axelsen will meet Christie on Saturday, while another semi-final ticket will feature Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew against Rasmus Gemke from Denmark. Speaking after the match, Axelsen said he was ready to face Christie tomorrow and that he felt he was at his “best performance now”.
“He is a great player and tomorrow will be an interesting game to watch,” he added.
On Friday, Antonsen said he sustained an injury on his right chest during the Thomas Cup and Denmark Open in October.
“In the end of yesterday’s match, I played really aggressively and that led to the same injury showing up again,” he posted on his official Instagram account. “Now I will focus on recovery and then the upcoming world championships.”




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