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Chen Long beats top-ranked Viktor Axelsen to win China Open badminton

Chen Long emerged from a see-saw battle, getting the better of Viktor Axelsen in 72 engrossing minutes to win the China Open badminton tournament

other sports Updated: Nov 19, 2017 23:23 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Shanghai
Chen Long,Viktor Axelsen,China Open
Chen Long of China hits a return against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark during their men's singles final match at the China Open 2017 Badminton Championships. Long won 21-16, 14-21, 21-13. (AFP)

Chen Long delighted the home crowd as he defeated world number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark to win the China Open for a fourth time, here today.

The sixth-seeded Chinese emerged from a see-saw battle 21-16 14-21 21-13 in Fuzhou, getting the better of the world champion and top seed in 72 engrossing minutes.

The 23-year-old Axelsen has had a superb year, winning the world title and becoming the leading figure in the men’s game.

But today’s defeat extends his poor run against the more experienced Chen, 28, who has now won eight of their nine meetings.

It was Chen’s first China Open crown since 2013.

READ | Kidambi Srikanth to skip Hong Kong Superseries badminton tournament

There was to be no Chinese fairytale however in the women’s decider.

Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi beat Chinese qualifier Gao Fangjie to win her first Superseries title of the year.

Fifth seed Yamaguchi had been favourite against the 19- year-old Gao, who miraculously reached the final having never previously won a Superseries main-draw match.

It all proved too much for the teenager on the day, even with the backing of the noisy home crowd, with the 20-year-old Yamaguchi coming through 21-13, 21-15 in 41 minutes.

First Published: Nov 19, 2017 23:13 IST