Other Sports

Viktor Axelsen speaks his mind

World No.1 Viktor Axelsen is crisp and sharp, in making his point, on and off the court.

The powerhouse on a badminton court, Axelsen can bring a touch of class with his deception on court, and can be ruthlessly honest in expressing his opinion off it.

In his brief interaction with the media after outplaying Tian Houwei, the only Chinese player in the Vodafone Premier Badminton League encounter against Delhi Dashers, the star of Bengaluru Blasters, Axelsen blasted the architects of the new service rule that is set to be tested in the All England Championship.

“It is a ridiculous rule. You don’t lower the basket in basketball just because the tall players have an easier time dunking’, he said, about the proposed rule that would require a serve to be hit within a height of 1.15 metres from the ground.

“I know that there may be some issues in men’s doubles, but I don’t think it will change things. It is just making it difficult for the tall players, who can’t change how tall they are. It is not fair at all. It is ridiculous to try it out at the All England Open which is the most prestigious event”, said Axelsen, who has already been active on the social media, lending his voice for the campaign against the rule which is set to be tested through the year in grade-1 and grade-2 events, including the World Championship.

At 1.94 metres height, Axelsen said that he had already “figured it out”, and the issue could be for players much taller than him, like Vladimir Ivanov, who is playing the PBL”.

Axelsen hoped that “all the players would join me to say their views, because it is our job to speak out”.

Things have been good for Axelsen, as he has been able to tune the attention on to himself, against the likes of Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, Chen Long etc., especially by winning the World Championship. He said that he would continue to follow the same pattern that has helped him succeed.

“It is all about consistency, believing in your self, and hard practice. And also believing that you are doing the right things. I am going to do the same that I have been doing last year”, said Axelsen, when queried about the compulsion of having to compete in more tournaments.

“BWF should focus on the high quality of tournaments, and hold them to highest standards, rather than putting more tournaments in the calendar. We want to see great battles. If we get some more chance to practise and take care of our bodies, we can have a longer career and better quality. I have to choose the tournaments that I have to play my best. I have to accept that I cannot be 100 % all the time”, frankly admitted Axelsen.

Looking at the high quality of players in the world, including a bunch of Indian players led by world No.3 K. Srikanth, Axelsen reinforced his views about being consistently on top of one’s game. “If you don’t bring your A-game, you can lose to a lot of players. So, you have to play close to your best, if you want to stay on top”, he said.

For sure, Axelsen had to be at his sharp best to tame Tian Houwei in the Premier League on Thursday, and was happy with his game.

“Mine was the trump match, and I knew that I had to play my A-game, at a high level. I am happy to have done that”, Axelsen said.

The No.1 has fans all around the world, but the Dane , set to turn 24 on January 4, said that he enjoyed playing in Delhi, as “I get good support, and I am really happy to be back here”.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 1:48:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/viktor-axelsen-speaks-his-mind/article22326363.ece

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