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Viktor Axelsen: 'It is a good feeling to win at home'

There were a lot of milestones reached today in the finals of the Denmark International in Frederikshavn but by far the sweetest was Viktor Axelsen’s victory over Ville Lång in the men’s singles in what was the Danes first international win on his home soil.

Axelsen was hot favourite for the title after his victory at the Dutch International just a few short weeks ago and the world number 21 lived up to his top seeding this week as he blew away the challenge of Lang in two games. Both players know each other very well with some history between them on court going back to the Swedish International in 2011 and Axelsen knew that this match against the Flamboyant Finn was as much a mental battle as it was technical and physical.

“I was focused today against Ville and I am very satisfied with the way I handled the mental aspect of the game.”

Once Axelsen got the first set under his belt there was no way back for Lang as the Dane lifted his first title on home soil with a 21-8 win in the second to the delight of the home crowd.

“It is a really good feeling to win my first International senior tournament on home soil. I was prepared for the long rallies with Ville today and I knew I had the match once Ville started trying some of his silly shots towards the end of the second game”

Over 10,000 world ranking points in one month for Grebak & Skaarup

It has been a month to remember for Anders Skaarup & Lena Grebak as they lifted the Denmark International this afternoon to complement their win in Finland 3 weeks ago. With a final appearance at the Portuguese International squashed in between their haul of in excess of 10,000 world ranking points has seen the Danes sprint up the world rankings. After being outside the worlds top 200 at the beginning of the year the Danes will now likely sit comfortably inside the world’s top 50 when the new rankings are released on Thursday.

“One month ago I didn’t even want to look at the world rankings but now I will be looking next week to see where we are sitting” said Skaarup.

Skaarup and Grebak expected a closer final against training partners and friends Kim Astrup & Maria Helsbøl but the challenge did not materialise as Skaarup & Grebak came home comfortably in two straight games.

“It was a little unexpected with the way we won today especially in the second game but we came to win and that is what we did and it is a great feeling to win on Danish soil” said Lena Grebak after the victory.

They came they conquered for third year running

To win a tournament once is an achievement in itself. To do it twice in succession is almost unheard of but a hat trick of wins is always something to savour and Marie Røpke & Line Kruse did just that this afternoon at Denmark International.

It has been a less that fruitful season for the Danish duo but they always keep their best form until late in the season and once again the dynamic duo pulled off yet another win at the Denmark International in some style over Lennartsson and Wengberg from Sweden.

The Danes did try their best to lose the opening game as they let a 19-14 lead slip and even had one game point against them at 20-19. It was a case of a quick adjustment of the Røpke mind-set and within a blink of an eye she was instrumental in rattling off three unanswered points to take the game 22-20.

“This break in concentration is something that happens to me sometimes but in the end we turned it around and winning the opening set was critical.”

There was no such lapse of concentration in the second game and the Danes lifted their third Denmark International title in a row with a 21-11 second game victory.

“I think they will have to name this tournament after us now” said a happy Kruse “It’s a big achievement to win here three years in a row.

Germany & GB chip in with a title apiece

Germany’s Olga Konon did what she had threatened to do all week and walked away with the women’s singles title with her two game win over Denmark’s Mette Poulsen. The German maintained her record of winning a title every season since she turned senior which was just rewards as she battled back from major knee surgery this time last year.

Poulsen was pretty much a spectator for much of the match as the German swept to the title in under a half hour on court.

“I have not had this winning feeling for over a year so it is good to feel it again and more important it is good to have no pain and confidence in what I am doing on and off the court.”

The Anglo-Scottish duo of Marcus Ellis and Paul Van Rietvelde took the men’s doubles title in what proved to be a bad day at the office for Kim Astrup. In the only three set match on finals day the GB’s pair came through in just under an hours play to bag their first win since the Welsh International at the beginning of December 2012.

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via Badminton Europe

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