Viktor Axelsen is relieved to have been able to put a nagging ankle injury behind him to clinch the India Open 2019 title here on Sunday.
After winning five titles — including the World Championship and the BWF Super Series Finals in 2017 — Axelsen underwent an ankle surgery in early 2018 which forced him to miss the All England Championships. He recovered to clinch the Indonesia Open Super 1000 title but struggled in the second half of the year.
He started this year with a title win at the Barcelona Spain Masters and a runner-up finish at the All England Championships before claiming the India Open crown . “Now I can say that I have put the injury behind me,” Axelsen told reporters after defeating K. Srikanth in the final.
“It has taken a lot of time and Srikanth here knows how an injury can take a toll and how long it takes to comeback to normal fitness and level of play. So I am just happy the way I came back. It is great to win the tournament. I don’t know what to say. It is always a confident booster, especially after the All England final, it is nice to win here,” Axelsen said.
Axelsen shared a good rivalry with Srikanth. In terms of the head-to-head record, Axelsen had a 4-3 lead over Srikanth before the final. “Srikanth beat me in Denmark last time, so I thought it was nice of him to allow me to win here in India. May be next time, it should be like I win in Denmak and he wins in India and I will be cool with that,” Axelsen joked.
Commenting on the summit clash, he said: “It was easier to control in the first game and in the second game Srikanth stepped up. We were so close, and it is small things which makes the difference. So you never know what would have happened if Srikanth had won the second game. You need a little bit of luck. I had a lucky net chord. That’s how sports is, it is fragile.”
After his loss, Srikanth said he was satisfied with the way the week had panned out for him. “I’m just happy with my performance in the last week. I just want to take it the way it comes. I know I was trailing in most of the matches but somehow I wanted this kind of momentum. I wanted these kind of wins. I want to continue this form now,” he stated.
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