India Open 2023: Akane Yamaguchi, Viktor Axelsen reach final

World no. 1 Yamaguchi rallied past Thai shuttler Supanida Katethong’s challenge 21-17, 21-16 in 39 minutes to enter the final. An Se Young came from behind to beat He Bing Jiao 11-21, 21-16, 21-16.

Japanese shuttler Akane Yamaguchi defeated Supanida Katethong at the India Open Super 750 semifinal in New Delhi on January 21, 2023.

Japanese shuttler Akane Yamaguchi defeated Supanida Katethong at the India Open Super 750 semifinal in New Delhi on January 21, 2023. | Photo Credit: R V MOORTHY

World no. 1 Yamaguchi rallied past Thai shuttler Supanida Katethong’s challenge 21-17, 21-16 in 39 minutes to enter the final. An Se Young came from behind to beat He Bing Jiao 11-21, 21-16, 21-16.

An Se Young of Korea showed why she has been able to win 11 world tour titles at such an young age, as she clawed her way past fourth seed He Bing Jiao of China 11-21, 21-16, 21-16 in a memorable semifinal match, much to the delight of the fans who made for a vibrant atmosphere at the $900,000 Yonex Sunrise India Open badminton championship at the KD Jadhav Hall in New Delhi on Saturday.

Getting better with every point, the second seeded Korean had a decisive turn of fortunes when she had a successful challenge to go up 14-12 in the third game. The Chinese did equalise, but An Se Young, 20, was at her classy best in the climax, with her confident touch and crisp strokes.

In the final, the young Korean will challenge the top seed, two-time World Champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. The 25-year-old Yamaguchi was quite conservative, content to operate on a low gear for the most part, but made sure to stay ahead against Supanida Katethong of Thailand, in executing a 21-17, 21-14 victory.

Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand emerged a brilliant fighter as he beat the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 27-25, 21-15 in the men’s singles semifinals.

In a cracker of a duel in the first game, the eighth seeded Kunlavut saved a game point and converted seventh game point to gain a stranglehold over the proceedings.

Ginting who was the crowd favourite with his imaginative play, did try hard to get a hold on the match, but after being 15-13 in the second game, he was unable to control the errors against the fluency of the Thai who rose to the climax with a majestic game.

In the final, Kunlavut will face the reigning World and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen who was expectedly dominant as he dismissed the fourth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 21-6, 21-12.

The results (semifinals):
Men: Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Jonatan Christie (Ina) 21-6, 21-12; Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Ina) 27-25, 21-15. Women: Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) bt Supanida Katethong (Tha) 21-17, 21-14; An Se Young (Kor) bt He Bing Jiao (Chn) 11-21, 21-16, 21-16.
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