All England Open 2021: Viktor Axelsen sets up final with Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia after beating Anders Antonsen in semis

Axelsen got the better of an all-Danish semi-final, coming from behind to beat Anders Antonsen 16-21, 21-7, 21-17.

Agence France-Presse March 21, 2021 09:21:36 IST
All England Open 2021: Viktor Axelsen sets up final with Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia after beating Anders Antonsen in semis

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen celebrates after winning the men's singles semi-final match against Denmark's Andres Antonsen. AP

Birmingham: Defending champion Viktor Axelsen will face Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in the final of badminton's All England Open on Sunday.

Axelsen got the better of an all-Danish semi-final, coming from behind to beat Anders Antonsen 16-21, 21-7, 21-17.

Lee should go into the showdown fresher as he cruised through Saturday's earlier semi-final 21-13, 21-17 over Dutchman Mark Caljouw.

After 21 years without a Danish men's singles champion, Axelsen broke the duck last year and just had enough to hold off his younger compatriot in a battle between the second and third seeds.

"It was a crazy game. Lot of back and forth, lot of nerves, lot of good rallies -- it had everything," said Axelsen.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medallist kept his cool to edge ahead at the crucial point of a tight decider before taking his first match point with an unchallenged Antonsen error.

Lee shocked world number one Kento Momota to reach the last four and the 22-year-old suffered no dip in form as he comfortably saw off the unseeded Caljouw.

"It is my first All England final, so very happy about the performance," said Lee.

"In the second game I lost focus a bit but luckily I managed to get back my momentum."

Japan's Nozomi Okuhara will face Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in the women's final after edging a classic clash with Ratchanok Intanon 16-21, 21-16, 21-19.

Second seed Okuhara battled back from losing the first set in an entertaining match.

Intanon raced into a 13-8 lead in the decider before a series of costly errors allowed Okuhara to turn the set and match around to go ahead 20-18.

The first match point was saved by Intanon but a wayward forehand drive sealed her fate.

Chochuwong powered into the final with a comprehensive 21-17, 21-9 win over Indian fifth seed Pusarla Venkata Sindhu.

All three doubles finals will be all-Japanese affairs.

Defending champions Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe take on Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda in the men's final.

Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota face Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara in the women's final.

Watanabe and his partner Arisa Higashino will take on Matsutomo and Yuki Kaneko in the mixed doubles final.

With the tournament not counting towards Olympic qualification, leading Asian badminton nations China, South Korea and Taiwan had opted not to travel because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Indonesia's team were forced to withdraw from the tournament earlier this week after a passenger on their flight to Britain tested positive for the coronavirus .

Updated Date:

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