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Injured world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen withdraws from Singapore Badminton Open

Denmark's world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen has withdrawn from the Singapore Badminton Open due to a muscle strain. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE – Badminton world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen has withdrawn from the June 6-11 Singapore Badminton Open, tournament organisers confirmed on Tuesday.

The Danish retired five minutes into his quarter-final match against Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia at the Sudirman Cup in Suzhou, China, last Friday and limped off injured.

Axelsen beat Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew in the opening match but did not play in the second and third group stage games.

He later revealed on social media that he had sustained a muscle strain in his left hamstring, which would result in him “missing the next few tournaments”.

The reigning Olympic champion added: “I’m taking one day at a time and I’m looking forward to start working my way back to full speed again.

“I want to thank the doctors, volunteers and everyone around the Danish Team who helped getting everything checked yesterday, and all of you for your support and encouragement.”

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Confirming Axelsen’s withdrawal on Tuesday, event organisers the Singapore Badminton Association added: “We have received a formal withdrawal request from Badminton Denmark that due to an injury that requires medical attention and rest, Axelsen will not be able to participate in the tournament.”

The 29-year-old, who has played in seven Singapore Opens, skipped the event in 2022, citing a need to “rest and recharge. His best finish at the tournament was in 2012 and 2019, when he reached the semi-finals.

The Karim Family Foundation Singapore Open has been upgraded to a Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 750 series event in 2023 from its Super 500 status.

The US$850,000 (S$1.1 million) tournament at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will feature the top 15 singles players and top 10 doubles pairs.

Singapore’s best badminton players, including world No. 4 Loh (men’s singles), world No. 34 Yeo Jia Min (women’s singles) and world No. 26 Terry Hee and Jessica Tan (mixed doubles) will also be in action at the event.