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Viktor Axelsen sets up final clash vs Chen Long in China Open badminton

Viktor Axelsen will take on Chen Long in the men’s singles final of the China Open badminton tournament, whilst Akane Yamaguchi will take on Chinese qualifier Gao Fangjie in the women’s singles final

other sports Updated: Nov 18, 2017 16:39 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Shanghai
Viktor Axelsen,Chen Long,Akane Yamaguchi
Viktor Axelsen of Denmark is the favourite going into the China Open badminton final vs Chen Long. (AFP)

Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, who is ranked number one in the world, will play the reigning Olympic champion and home hope Chen Long in Sunday’s mouthwatering final of the China Open.

In the women’s draw in Fuzhou, the Japanese fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi takes on the Chinese qualifier Gao Fangjie, who had previously never made it past the first round of a Superseries event.

The 23-year-old Axelsen, the current world champion and top seed, needed just 39 minutes to defeat unseeded Angus Ng Ka-long of Hong Kong 21-12, 21-17 in their one-sided semi-final on Saturday.

The imperious Axelsen is just one win away from his maiden China Open triumph.

But first he must see off the sixth seed Chen, who booked his ticket for the final with a topsy-turvy 21-17, 10-21, 21-7 victory over South Korea’s second seed Son Wan-Ho in 71 minutes.

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Chen, 28, holds a strong advantage in his meetings with Axelsen, beating the Dane seven times and losing to him just once.

The home crowd will also have another Chinese to roar in Sunday’s women’s final in the form of 19-year-old surprise-package Gao.

The teenager stunned current Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain 21-19, 21-19 in one hour.

Gao’s opponent in the decider will be the Japanese Yamaguchi, who defeated Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, seeded eight, 21-14, 21-18.

First Published: Nov 18, 2017 16:22 IST