Axelsen withdraws from Australian Open – Too much pressure from Lin Dan?

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Viktor Axelsen has chosen to withdraw from the upcoming Crown Group Australian Open and fly back home after a disappointing tour in the Indonesia Open. Axelsen lost in the first round of the Indonesia Open to his compatriot and much lower ranked Emil Holst. His withdrawal is sad news for many fans as he was scheduled to clash with Lin Dan in the first round in of the Australian Open next week. The lower half of the draw for tournament can be seen at the end of this article.

Axelsen stated, “I have decided not go to Australia. I am not at a good level right now, both physically and mentally. I have to take care of myself, so I have chosen to opt out…… It is especially mental, I think. I must go home and worked it out with my mental coach. But the main thing is I need to be home and find that absolute hunger again. So that I am ready for a good training in front of the World Championships.” says Axelsen.

The BWF World Championships will be played in Glasgow, Scotland from 21st to 27th August.

It is common to spot Viktor Axelsen show fits of anger and utter frustration during a match. He was having issues with his mental-match fitness. This proved to be costly for him in the final of the 2015 Japan open. He was up 11-3 in the third game against Lin Dan in that final but continued to lose that match. Axelsen started to work more with his mental coach after that incident. Thereafter 2016 proved to be a great year for Axelsen where he won the bronze at Rio Olympics and the Dubai Superseries Finals.

However, it has been mixed results for Axelsen this year. Apart from winning the India Open, his performance has been below his own expectations. He suffered early exits in his last two tournaments, the Malaysia Open and the Singapore Open. And he wasn’t able to defend his European Championships title. He also lost to Lin Dan in the All England Quarter Finals in their last meeting. Was the prospect of meeting Lin Dan again too much for Axelsen in his current form?

The Indonesian Open has been disappointing for many other seeded players as well. Top seeds and home favorites Kevin Sanjaya and Marcus Gideon crashed out in their first round. So did women’s doubles pair of Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi from Japan. Defending Champion Lee Chong Wei also fell in the second round. Lin Dan lost in the first round to Tzu Wei Wang from Chinese Taipei. Olympic Champion Carolina Marin too lost in the first round. Many of them said that they were having trouble controlling the wind drift in the stadium.

So Viktor Axelsen might have been a little harsh on himself with his withdrawal from the Australian Open. This also means that Viktor will lose some valuable world ranking points. These points were Vital for Axelsen to get a good seeding for himself when the draw for the World Championships are made.

Axelsen withdraws from Australian open 2017 2