Badminton: South Korea's An and Great Dane Axelsen win at season finale in Bali

DENPASAR, INDONESIA (AFP) – South Korea’s badminton ace An Se-young clinched the women’s singles title at the World Tour Finals in Bali on Sunday (Dec 5), completing her victorious streak following wins at the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open.

The 19-year-old shuttler stunned India’s top player P.V. Sindhu in straight games 21-16, 21-12 in the season-ending tournament on the resort island.

“I’m very happy to successfully score a hat-trick here. This victory is an upgrade for my achievements,” An said after the match.

In the men’s singles, reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-12, 21-8 in the final.

Axelsen, who was recently crowned world No. 1, also won the Open title last week.

In the men’s doubles, home favourites Kevin Sanjaya and Marcus Gideon failed to follow their success at the Open after losing to Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi 16-21, 21-13, 17-21.

This is the second loss for the world’s top pair – known affectionately by fans as The Minions – against the Japanese duo, who also beat them in the final of the Masters last month.

Japan’s women’s doubles pair Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida failed to complete their clean sweep of season-ending titles after losing to Korea’s Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong 21-14, 21-14 in a 44-minute match.

The Japanese pair previously bagged both the Indonesia Masters and Open titles.

“I am disappointed by this result. We were not able to get out from their pressure although we have tried to stop their domination,” Shida said.

Honours were distributed evenly with Thailand taking the mixed doubles – Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai beat Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino 21-19, 21-11 in 40 minutes.

The World Tour Finals, the last of three consecutive tournaments at the end of the season, were held behind closed doors amid criticism from fans who were concerned over the athletes’ well-being after back-to-back tournaments.

Four players, including former world champion Kento Momota and Singapore’s top women’s player Yeo Jia Min, dropped out early owing to injury.

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