Photo credit: Tang Shi
With Kento Momota, Lee Dong Keun and Khosit Phetpradab already qualified for the semifinals at Japan Open, it was up to Viktor Axelsen (1) and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting to find the fourth. The two faced each other in their second encounter today.
First encounter between the world’s number 1 and number 10 was in the group stage of Sudirman Cup 2017 where Ginting drew the longest straw after three games in 62 minutes. Today the two needed 60 minutes to find a winner.
It was Anthony Sinisuka Ginting who started best with 4-1 and 7-4 but it should turn out that was it for him in first game. Viktor Axelsen showed why he has been the world’s number 1 for nearly a year now as he took over and stepped away from the Indonesian bronze medalist from the Asian Games. Axelsen won first game 21-17 and things seemed under control.
Shock and yellow cards
The umpire gave Axelsen a yellow card for delaying the play during first game – something the Dane obviously didn’t agree to but there was nothing he could do. He seemed frustrated at first but managed to put it aside. In second game it was Ginting’s turn to receive a yellow card for the same misconduct – he didn’t complain at all because he needed the small break.
The two shuttlers played a very close second game up to 15-14 for the Dane. Axelsen finished off the match with a solid streak of four points; 21-15 and Viktor Axelsen is getting closer to defending his title from Japan Open 2017.
Axelsen also got a shock on his way to the semifinal as he slipped and hit his knee quite hard into the floor. He needed medical attention but after a couple of minutes it seemed he was doing okay again. And as we could see he had no problems in finishing his mission of the day.
Tomorrow Axelsen will be up against the local hero Kento Momota. It will be a very interesting battle between the World Champions anno 2017 and 2018.
Viktor Axelsen, Denmark (1) vs. Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Indonesia 21-17 21-15
Total point score: 42-32
Total points played: 74
Length of match: 60 min
Average points per minute: 1.23
Average seconds per point: 48.65 sec
Stay tuned! There are more Japan Open updates on the way…