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BWF World Tour Finals 2023: Tai Tzu Ying becomes women’s champion, Viktor Axelsen lifts men’s title

Tai Tzu Ying and Viktor Axelsen won the women’s and men’s singles titles, respectively at the BWF World Tour Finals in Hangzhou, China on Sunday in contrasting styles.

Chinese Taipei’s Tai became champion at the season-ending event for the fourth time after coming from a game down to beat Spain’s Carolina Marin 12-21, 21-14, 21-18 in an hour and 13 minutes.

“I thought I was going to lose in the second game, but the crowd cheered me on even though I was trailing, and that gave me the energy to persevere and gave me a lot of self-belief and confidence,” Tai told BWF Media.

“Marin is a very fast player and I was under a lot of pressure. Frankly, I couldn’t keep up with her pace, which affected my shot-making, so I felt I needed to play at a higher pace to be able to challenge her.”

On the other hand, Axelsen completed a hattrick of titles and lifted the winner’s trophy for the fifth time in his career as he brushed aside home favourite Shi Yu Qi 21-11, 21-12 in just 49 minutes.

“I’m extremely proud and extremely tired,” said Axelsen.

“My year has been extraordinary. It has also been marked by big disappointments,” he said, pointing to defeats in the All England Open and the World Championships on home soil.

“But a great sportsman gets up and recovers from disappointing experiences. And that’s what I managed to do. I’ve won some big titles, so I can’t be disappointed with this year,” he said.

China also suffered defeat in men’s doubles final as World No. 1 Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang went down 21-17, 22-20 against reigning world champions – South Korea’s Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae – in 43 minutes.

The host nation did not finish without a title though. Reigning world champions and World No. 1 Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan won the women’s doubles crown, beating South Korea’s Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee 21-16, 21-16 in an hour and 2 minutes.

World No. 1 mixed doubles pair Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong successfully defended their title as they defeated compatriots Feng Yan Zhe and Huang Dong Ping 21-11, 21-18 in 48 minutes.

(With inputs from AFP)

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