Malaysia Masters: ‘Moving Freely Again’, Axelsen into Year’s First Final

Viktor Axelsen’s unusual lean spell is close to being over.

Going by the lofty standards he set in the last few years, Axelsen has supposedly had a below-par campaign this year. His title match at PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2024 on Sunday will be his first of a season that has seen him play five events, including the European Championships.

Not that the Tokyo 2020 gold medallist and two-time world champion is losing any sleep over it.

“It’s more the social media and journalists focusing on this,” said the world No.1 after comprehensively beating Lu Guang Zu 21-6 21-13. “I’ve been in so many finals, won so many titles. I’m super content with where I am, and I know if my body is 100 per cent, I’m capable of winning titles. This week until now shows I have the level to at least play finals so I’m happy about that.”

Fitness issues had bugged the 30-year-old since mid-last year and he’s struggled to be at his best on court. Having not dropped a game in Kuala Lumpur all week, Axelsen says he feels like himself again.

“I have no pain when I play. For the first time in four or five months, I’m moving freely again. Now I can focus on playing instead of recovery,” said the Dane, champion of the 2018 edition.

“I’m super happy to be in my first final this year. And at Axiata Arena, where you get one of the world’s best atmospheres.

“I’ve had many good experiences here. I still remember winning six years ago. I hope I can do it in front of these fans again.”

The audience might not be so generous with their support this time however, as the player standing on the opposite side in the final has the Malaysian flag on his chest. World No.10 Lee Zii Jia advanced to his second championship bout in as many weeks after taking down last week’s Thailand Open final opponent Ng Ka Long Angus 21-15 21-17.

Results (Semifinals)

Order of play (Finals)


“It’s a special moment after so many years in the national team. My first final on home soil, it’s a positive. I’m not thinking about the title, because with this kind of crowd, I just want to have a good rest, a good dinner and a good sleep.” – Lee

“Making our third final of the year means a lot. We are quite emotional. There are two tournaments for us until the Olympics. We just want to do our best and get the best outcomes.” – Pitha Haningtyas Mentari

Ecstasy for Mentari after the win over Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje.

BWF World Tour News

Title Sponsor