The 2023 All England Open kicked off in dramatic style on Tuesday with some big shocks and an early scare for defending champion Viktor Axelsen.
The great Dane, a two-time champion at the Utilita Arena Birmingham, was under the cosh early on against Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong, dropping the opening game after a slow start.
However, the world No.1 rallied, and his quest for a fifth straight final – and third title – continued after a 19-21 21-15 21-11 triumph.
“I’m feeling pretty satisfied about how I played in the last two games especially,” said the Dane.
“Lee Cheuk Yiu is a tough opponent, and today was a tough game for me, but I’m happy I was able to step up and win comfortably in the second and third games.
“I tried to step up the pace a little bit, and I tried to control the rallies a little bit more. I was playing a little bit too slow and a little bit too cautious in the first game. I managed to turn it around.
“I’ve been doing really well here for many years, so hopefully, I can do well again this week.”
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