Lucknow: World Champion Viktor Axelsen outclassed the 5th ranked Son Wan Ho of Korea to hand Bengaluru Blasters a 5 – (-1) win over Mumbai Rockets at the Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy here on Monday.
Playing the third match of the day as a trump player the World No 1 dismantled the Korean 15-6, 15-13 in straight sets to give his a 4-0 lead and a guaranteed victory in the five game contest.
In what was deemed as a clash of titans Axelsen completely dominated the opening game winning it 15-6 without much resistance as Son found it tough to combat the Dubai Super Series champion.
The second game was however an epic battle that saw both the competitors fight it hard but Axelsen once again came on top despite Son putting up a better account of himself against the Dane.
“I have played against him a lot of time and know that he can come back anytime. Everyone saw the way he came back in the second game and it was very crucial for me to stay focussed throughout. I am happy to have pulled it off and put my team in the driving seat,” Axelsen said after the match as quoted by the Times of India.
Earlier the contest began with an pulsating mixed doubles clash where the Bengaluru pair of N Sikki Reddy and Kim Sa Rang beat the Mumbai duo of M R Arjun and Gabriela Stoeva 15-8, 10-15, 15-10 to log the opening points for the Blasters.
World No.16 Gilmour then extended Bengaluru’s lead after she got the better of the 11th ranked Beiwen Zhang of USA 15-14, 15-8.
It was the USA shuttler however who started better winning four points on the trot to go into the break 8-5 ahead. She continued to maintain her composure and was cruising to victory having extended her lead to 11-6. But just when it looked that victory was certain for the Mumbai player, Gilmour showed extraordinary resiliency and worked her way up to eventually seal the deal 15-14.
Not looking to stop, the 16th ranked Scot continued her stronghold in the match with some clever drops and although Beiwen tried her best, the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist eventually closed the affair at 15-8.
4-0 down at the end of three matches Mumbai did have a chance to decrease the defecit of defeat but Sourabh Verma’s loss to Chong Wei Feng 9-15, 15-8, 15-6 in a trump match, despite winning the opening set made it impossible for the Rockets to make a comeback.
Later the Bengaluru duo of Mathias Boe and K.S. Rana added more salt to the injury after defeating the South Korean/Malaysian pair Lee Yong Dae and Tan Boon Heong 9-15, 15-10, 15-14 in the men’s doubles which was the last match of the day.