ALL ENGLAND 2016 R32 – Fright for Axelsen, Marin

The All England 2016 just entered the main round stage but it was a very tough day for some seeded players. Carolina Marin was almost sent packing and Viktor Axelsen […]

The 2016 just entered the main round stage but it was a very tough day for some seeded players. Carolina Marin was almost sent packing and Viktor Axelsen had to save a match point but both were able to keep their path through to the second round.

By Naomi Indartiningrum, live from Birmingham. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Up and down for Axelsen

After his great run at the end of last year, 6th-seeded Viktor Axelsen must have had  big expectations for this tournament. Unfortunately things didn’t start out easily for the giant Dane. Facing French representative Brice Leverdez (photo) he had to finish the match with a rubber game.

Leverdez, who was all fired up, led throughout most of the first game and won 21-14. Viktor was on the brink in the second game.  He managed to save a match point and won 22-20. The third game showed no differences. Both of them tried their best to win one point after the other. Viktor Axelsen (photo) had three match point at 20-17 but the French veteran came back to level it at 20-20. Leverdez then did a flick serve which was called for a fault by the service judge, then smashed out to hand over the victory to his younger opponent for a final 14-21, 22-20, 22-20 win from Axelsen.

“I think Brice played a good game first of all but with that being said, I felt a bit up and down on court today, especially the first set.  It wasn’t too pretty.” said Axelsen. In the second round, the Dane will face Korean Son Wan Ho.

Storm after glory for Koreans

Another tough match today was on for the Koreans Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na. Although they won the title last week in Germany, they struggled against Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia before finally seeing off the world #12 pair 16-21, 21-17, 22-20, saving a match point in the third, just minutes after Axelsen had saved his.

“For today, it was a very tough game and I was a bit nervous. Even though our opponents were not easy to beat, my partner [Kim Ha Na] and I always tried to get points one by one. Fortunately in the end of the game, they made quite a lot of mistakes and that allowed us to win,” said Ko.  “Our target is just to win every game here. Step by step we will try because I know that the effort will lead us to win,” he added.

Injured Marin close to losing

After struggling 88 minutes on the court, world #1, Carolina Marin (photo) booked her ticket for the second round. Facing Korean veteran Bae Yeon Ju, Marin had a tough fight from the first point.

“It was a tough match.  It’s been a long time since I’ve played a event. Last week I injured my shoulder and I couldn’t train very hard. I’m happy because I won but it wasn’t my best performance,” said the World Champion.

Bae Yeon Ju, who was supported by some local Korean fans, tried so hard to get the opening game but Marin took it 25-23. Neither player wanted to lose and gave their heart out in the battle. With some great effort, Bae managed to save two match points and take the second game 22-20.  In the 3rd game, the Korean made quite lot mistakes during the interval and Marin finally built up the lead that allowed her to win more comfortably 21-15.

“I’m not worried about this match.  I just need to rest up and get ready for tomorrow,” Marin said.

Click here for complete Wednesday results

Naomi Indartiningrum

About Naomi Indartiningrum

Naomi began as a Badzine Correspondent in 2015, while still a Business Management student living in Jakarta. A badminton enthusiast since 2007, she mostly spends her spare time writing about local badminton events and also maintaining one of largest badminton twitter accounts in Indonesia.