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All England Open: Lee Zii Jia and Viktor Axelsen cruise through to final

Lee Zii Jia defeated Mark Caljouw in straight games to get into his first-ever final while Viktor Axelsen came off a closely contested semi-final in his quest to defend the title.

Swiss Open 2021 champion Viktor Axelsen

Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia defeated Mark Caljouw in the semi-final to make his first-ever major tournament final at the All England Open 2021. Lee defeated the Dutchman in two straight sets following up his memorable victory over World no.1 Kento Momota in the quarter-final. Lee displayed great skill as he outplayed the opponent both in attack as well as in defense.


The Malaysian dominated the first game with his blistering pace. Caljouw did well to adjust to the blistering pace set by Lee and work his way back into it, avoiding a total blowout. The second game was a very closely contested affair. The Dutchman did extremely to bounce back and take a point lead.

But the Malaysian proved too good for Caljouw. He skillfully adapted and switched between attack and defense to seal win. Lee won the semi-final defeating Caljouw 21-13, 21-17 to make his first major badminton final in only his second appearance at this tournament.


Viktor Axelsen set to defend his title

Viktor Axelsen

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen reigned supreme in a Danish thriller to set up a final with young un Lee. Axelsen defeated his countryman Anders Antonsen in a thrilling semi-final encounter 16-21, 21-7, 21-17 to book a place in the final for the third time in a row.

It was a Danish cliffhanger and Antonsen pushed him all the way, but the defending champion had enough in the tank. As the match progressed, Antonsen lost the edge, specially in the decider and that was all Axelsen needed to work his way through. Antonsen lost the intense final game after leading by five points to hand his fellow Dane a win.

The men’s single final is all set to be a thrilling encounter between Axelsen and Lee. It will be interesting to see how Lee holds up in maiden final and against a big gun like Axelsen.

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Anshuman Mahapatra is currently pursuing an engineering degree. Writing and sports are his fortes. He covers cricket as well as badminton, boxing and other Olympic sports. Anshuman is addicted to reading novels and cricket. He is a huge Chennai Super Kings fan.