Viktor Axelsen crushed Kento Momota in a one-sided Malaysia Open final, winning 21-4, 21-7 in 34 minutes to solidify his reputation as the man to dethrone in the men’s singles.
Sunday’s victory secured the world number one his fifth title of the year, adding to his All-England, European Championships, Indonesia Open and Indonesia Masters titles.
Momota had excelled in the semi-finals against Kunvalut Vitidsarn, but was no match for the strapping Dane who dominated from start to finish.
Axelsen’s explosiveness proved too much for Momota, who found no answer despite trying his best to match the intensity the Olympic champ set from the start.
Momota’s confidence faded away with every point, and the much anticipated final ended on an anti-climax note with Axelsen never troubled.
As someone who played with legends from different eras including Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan and Chen Long, Axelsen said that experience stood him in good stead against his current competition.
“I still remember I played Lee Chong Wei here, and I lost with 8 and 10 (8-21, 10-21) in 26 minutes. That definitely kept me grounded.
“I think playing many big matches against the legends, frontrunners of the sport, I think it has given me experience and I was using that a lot today,” he told Stadium Astro.
Ratchanok Intanon reigned supreme in the women’s singles after she took down Chen Yufei 21-15, 13-21, 21-16 to win this title for the second time.
The Thai ace later dedicated the victory to her late mother and her family, after ending a 30-month wait for a title.
“I was happy that I could be myself today, and she couldn’t handle my mentality. I believe in myself, and if I trust myself it helps me. It was a great win, especially against the Olympic champion.
The victory was all the sweeter for Ratchanok, who avenged her defeat to the Chinese in last week’s Indonesia Masters final.
China also lost out on the women’s doubles title, after the new combination of Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti edged Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu 21-18, 12-21, 21-19.
But Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong ensured China’s name on the mixed doubles title as the second seeds beat top ranked Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-13, 21-18.
Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi won the men’s doubles title in the final match of the day, as they turned on the heat in the deciding game to beat Indonesians Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto 24-22, 16-21, 21-9.