Viktor Axelsen

Discussion in 'Denmark Professional Players' started by LD rules!, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    Thanks, glad to hear that it's just leg cramps. Personally, I'm very pleased to see Viktor Axelsen and next both Shi Yuqi and Son Wan Ho, all back in action for the Olympic quest.

    For me, I always wish to see all the best of the best in contention for the major championships without any serious contenders left out for whatever reasons, ideally all of them in tip-top condition; otherwise, it'd somehow take something away for the eventual titleholder.

    Hmm..eight matches in two consecutive weeks and he suffered leg cramps, that for a 25-year-old in his prime, as compared with father Chen Long, age 31, 10 matches and still looking fine although appearing a little bit tired at the end of it in the second final which he won (unlike in his younger days where he never talked about feeling fatigued or even appeared so).
     
  2. @andy

    @andy Regular Member

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    Hmm...I think VA has more problems than mere cramp, looks like something seized in the lower back/spinal area,
    a good Chiropractor should be the call of the day to investigate it.

    Agreed about SYQ and SWH being fit for the OG's, especially SYQ as I mentioned before he and Ginting are the two I feel best equipped to unlock Momota's game, as a Hong Kong'er, it was good to see Ng Ka Long doing so well in France.
     
  3. Sundis

    Sundis Regular Member

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    Even if he was looking unfit and only reached the SF in both DEN and FRA, at least he still beat his aspiring successor Antonsen to show who is the boss in DEN MS
     
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  4. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    This is one of many little sparks that lets me have mixed feelings regarding Viktors current performance and dedication to his actual badminton carreer on court. Cause let's be honest, 8 matches in two weeks (after not playing any big tournaments for a full month prior) should be doable without imploding thighs and a complete physical surrender. We all know it's tough to play the big tournaments in two or even three consecutive weeks, but we also know that it's doable, given you are physically fit and took your preparation seriously. Seeing him being unable to stand upright screams one thing: His fitness is far from where it's supposed to be.

    I've been a fan of Viktor since his first Superseries title at the Swiss Open 2014, which I had the pleasure to witness live in person. He had so much fire in his whole appearance and it was crystal clear that he had enormous potential. He proved exactly that the following years with winning an olympic bronze medal, becoming #1 in the world rankings and peaking with the WC title in 2017. It was part of his game that there has always been the chance of him losing his sh*t completely when the going got tough, but at least to me, that made a big part of being a fan. You never knew what would happen as soon as he set his foot on court - from best badminton possible to complete meltdowns, everything was possible.

    And funny enough, it was with the WC title and the following year as WR #1 that I felt that a change was happening to him. His social media posts started to drift off from actual badminton to various other stuff, from the VA clothing and accessories collection to books, documentaries, apps, you name it. At least his performances on court were still at a very high level.
    Then came the comeback of Momota and the series of more or less heavy knock-outs continued right where they left before Momota's ban. And maybe I'm the only one who feels that way, but it was around that time when I started to miss that certain fire in Viktor's eyes and appearance. Along with that, a series of little injuries had started which basically continued to this day without really seeing a really top-form Viktor at any point. And worst of all for me, he seems to care less and less if he wins or loses a big match. Sure, with getting older you see many things more realistically and less hot-headed, but I'm missing the furious, devastated Viktor that stepped up his practice effort after a dramatic losses.

    Here's what I think (and please feel free to contradict as passionately as you want). With the olympic medal, the WC title and those 12 months as #1, I feel like Viktor has checked all his personal carreer goals on court. The series of more or less devastating losses against KM took its toll on him and it's as if he has accepted deep down that on a normal day, he won't be able to beat him. So what's the point in working harder and harder if the results stay the same? Also with his body telling him with many little injuries that his resources are not endless. So he starts to shift his priorities to a different goal: Building up the VA brand and by that, taking care of his post pro-badminton carreer. He is a clever guy and has a well working management team around him which clearly knows about his huge marketing potential, especially in the chinese/asian market.

    There is nothing wrong with that and I can't blame him, don't get me wrong. But personally, I do not expect him to get back to his 2016/17 form and being the player to beat again. He will take his chances when they open up to win a tournament now and then, but that's it. Do I see him getting back into a form that could seriously challenge Momota over longer periods of the season? My gut feelings says no, I'm afraid.

    I would love to hear what you guys and gals think about this. ...and I've just noticed that this post got a lot longer than intented... :rolleyes:
     
    #784 s_mair, Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  5. @andy

    @andy Regular Member

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    Epic post S_Mair, lots of good points, like you I am a huge Viktor fan, when he's on his game, I wish he was Chinese, :D he is at a crossroads here, I can still see the desire to win is there but a case of ''the spirit is strong but the fresh is weak'', as for building his brand post Badminton career, he comes across as a genuinely nice guy, I am sure there's a slot for him as a ambassador for the sport or somewhere in media , even China as he is a Mandarin speaker, whatever he chooses to do, I will always follow his journey.
     
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  6. samkool

    samkool Regular Member

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    all well thought out points.

    to add: every athlete has a run to their peak during their career, ascending to the highest of their capability. sometimes it culminates in being #1, a world champion, an olympic gold medalist, an all time great, a legend, becoming the goat. you never know how long your run will be or how high you will get. does your run end due to your physical limitations or has a better athlete intersected your timeline? either way it's out of your control. across all sports an athletes peak run is an avg, of 2-3 years (104-156 weeks). this is often overlooked because the majority of what we see in the news are the outliers, the long time greats and goats: lin dan, lee chong-wei, usain bolt, lebron james, tom brady, michael phelps, simone biles, federer, nadal, serena...

    when you watch a current #1 at their peak it looks and feels like they could & should win everything, every time. in reality being mvp, #1, world champion and/or olympic gold medalist is a revolving door. afterwards you're a contender with memories, and memories breed hope. it's the hope that fills a fans heart.

    look at the constant changing of the guard in our sport of badminton, in all events. who looks like they can approach lin dan, lcw's & liliyana's legacies?

    i still love watching axelsen play, and i think he can still win a tournament on occasion. but, his run is over.
     
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  7. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    A very, very good point. Those "aliens" (in a positive way by all means!) with all the media coverage and circus surrounding them are giving a distorted image about what's already to be considered a successful career in any professional sport.
     
  8. Hassefar60

    Hassefar60 Regular Member

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    Interesting read @s_mair !

    There is no doubt that VA will not stay hungry forever. But I don't think we are there yet. I hope we are not.

    I don't think he has changed in this regard. I think he has just become more mature and doesn't show it that much. Whenever there is any kind of "funny questions round" in the Danish camp ("Who is the most X"?), there is also one question that they all agree on: Who is the biggest perfectionist and training addict: VA. And this is still the case. After French Open, There was some joking in the Danish camp about whether Kenneth Jonassen could keep VA from training Monday morning (as he ought to rest).

    You talked a lot about fitness and being able to play two weeks in a row. VA has just been injured and away from tournaments for four months. In his comeback in China Open and Korea Open he lost to players he should beat, because he was not back to full strength yet. No one was surprised. Three weeks later his game seems to nearly have reached his old level again. But not his stamina. I am not surprised that his physical level is still not there yet. During Denmark Open I believe he said that he did not feel at 100% yet, but around 80%.

    I don't think we have seen the last of VA, that he still really wants to solve KM. But I fear you are right that his time as "the one to beat" is over for good.
     
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  9. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Nothing to add. Very good analysis... :)
     
  10. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    I have a feeling VA will break that 11-0 losing streak to Momota the next time they meet, or at least it's getting closer and closer, so at most, it may happen within the next two, three meetings.

    I mean, VA isn't exactly a child prodigy who reached his peak early, so in the normal course of development for the great majority of professional players, I'd say he is still in his prime at age 25 now. True, he just came back from injury layoff but his form is actually not bad based on his performance these last two tournaments. If not for the unexpected leg cramp, I'm sure he would've prevailed over Jonatan Christie and, probably, went on to give Chen Long a hard time in the French Open final, not forgetting how he lost to the same player in the previous week's Denmark Open semifinal.

    Frankly, I wasn't really questioning VA's fitness level or stamina, just surprised that it happened and that he would put it down to playing too many matches, only eight, in two consecutive weeks. Does that mean he will struggle to perform well in back-to-back tournaments? I have always thought he is a big, tall, strapping young adult with the kind of height and reach to add to his already fine technical skills, which often posed a challenge to, esp, much shorter opponents, generally. As far as his stamina or lack thereof is concerned, I believe it can be addressed with the right training and discipline as long as he's driven to achieve greater successes.

    In other words, I'm absolutely certain he's not satisfied with just one world championship and merely an Olympic bronze, not when he is in mid-career for a professional badminton player and clearly still has a lot going for him, such as good health, talents and the passion for the sport. Yes, I'm more inclined to be optimistic about him.
     
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  11. Pagz

    Pagz Regular Member

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    Well, he won the WJC when he was 16 so you can't really say that he's a late bloomer.
    Eventually he will win against Momota, thats just a matter of statistics, but I also don't see any indication that the gap between Momota and Axelsen is getting smaller. Actually I think the opposite is true. Momota has improved quite a bit the past year while Axelsen has been injured for most of that time.
     
  12. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    This is one of the very few occasions on which I would be delighted to be proven wrong, believe me. :)
     
  13. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    Well, I normally don't take junior circuit performance too seriously unless they also do creditably in the senior circuit as well to be counted as a child prodigy, such as Intanon Ratchanok in her junior days when at age 18 she captured the world championship.

    I was referring to their previous two encounters before VA's injury layoff, the SGP Open and the All England where they weren't exactly one-way traffic, 15-21, 18-21 in the former and 11-21, 21-15, 15-21 in the latter. And I hasten to add that his comeback performance in the Danish and French Opens were both closed semifinal affairs in well-fought three-setters versus Jonatan Christie and Chen Long respectively, ending in narrow defeats by the score of 19-21 in both, and noteworthy was the fact that he was leading comfortably in the two tie-breaking sets before leg cramps took its toll in the one with Jonatan.

    A matter of perspective and a dose of optimism, I suppose, on my part. Let's see how it goes when the time comes.
     
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  14. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Viktor is in HK today doing an event for HSBC life. My kid got a picture with him.
     
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  15. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Then you must show us the picture so that we can celebrate together.
     
  16. Nine Tailed Fox

    Nine Tailed Fox Regular Member

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    The mother of all terrible match-ups

    He is now 1-5000 against Momota.
     
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  17. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Wow. Props to him to share his thought publicly and let's hope someone hears him and others who dare raise their voice.

    He knows better than anyone else (I mean us fans) what should be improved so that's quite a lot of issues at stake here and coming from a top player himself that can only be considered with full credibility.
     
  18. Leemarc28

    Leemarc28 Regular Member

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    He will be the BWF President when he gets old and retired.
     
  19. samkool

    samkool Regular Member

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