All England Open: Viktor Axelsen defeated Lakshya Sen in the men’s singles final.© AFP
World number one Viktor Axelsen defeated Indian Lakshya Sen on Sunday to win the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships. It took the reigning Olympic champion just 53 minutes to beat the unseeded Indian 21-10, 21-15 here at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena. The Danish shuttle has now increased its lead in the game against Sen by 5-1. The young Indian shutter offered to become just the third man after Prakash Padukone (1980) and Pullela Gopichand (2001) to win the All England Open Badminton Championships, or simply All England, the world’s oldest and most prestigious badminton tournament.
The top seed was the man on a mission from the get-go as he took the 6-0 lead in the first game and then raced to a nine point lead in the middle of the game interval.
After the resumption, the Danish shuttler went on to demolish the world’s number 11, taking the first game without breaking a sweat.
The second game started smoothly as the shuttle continued to change on both players’ rackets, but it was again the athlete from Denmark who took the lead halfway through the game, this time with a four point lead.
The change of camp didn’t do Sen any good as he continued to fight the smashes from the former All England champion. Axelsen, who played in his fourth straight All-England final, showed the young shuttler no rest as he continued his charge, crushing any Senator’s resistance.
The Danish shuttler eventually called off the game by winning the second game 21-15. After participating in this final, Sen is now only the fifth Indian – after Prakash Nath (1947), Prakash Padukone (1980 and 1981), Pullela Gopichand (2001) and Saina Nehwal (2015) – to reach the top of All England.
India’s rising badminton star has been in top form lately. He took his first World Cup bronze in December, before winning his first Super 500 title at India Open in January and finishing second at the German Open last week.
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