It's a magical feeling, says Yuki after beating world champion Axelsen

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Its a magical feeling, says Yuki after beating world champion Axelsen
Shi Yuqi of China plays a shot against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark during their men's singles Dubai World Superseries finals.

Dubai - Chinese star rallies to beat Denmark's world No. 1 in three sets in the Dubai World Superseries Finals

By Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Thu 14 Dec 2017, 5:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 14 Dec 2017, 7:45 PM

Rising Chinese star Shi Yuqi was on cloud nine after staging a fightback of epic proportions to stun world champion Viktor Axelsen at the Dubai World Superseries Finals on Thursday.
The 21-year-old Yuqi was up against the world's top-ranked player from Denmark who was eyeing his second straight win after dismantling India's Kidambi Srikanth in his opening game at Hamdan Sports Complex.
Axelsen was in sublime form in his straight-set victory over the Indian on Wednesday, and he continued that momentum against Yuqi who had no answer to the Dane's attacking game in the first set.
But errors began creeping into Axelsen's game in the second set and the Chinese took full advantage of it, taking the crucial tie to the third set.
It was there that Yuqi's never-say-die spirit came to the fore. He was down 2-8, then 11-16. And when it was 14-17 in favour of the experienced Dane, Yuqi stunned everyone by winning six points on the trot before clinching what was the greatest win of his career (13-21, 21-18, 21-18).
With his second straight win in Group B, Yuqi has now put himself in great position to qualify for the semifinals.
"It's a kind of magical feeling. But I still have one more match to play in the group. So I am focused on that match. I have to play another good match. I haven't really thought about the semifinals as of now. I want to win the last group game as well," Yuqi told reporters after his memorable win.
"This was the first match I played with Viktor. So he was very unfamiliar with my game. It was a good opportunity for me to surprise him," the world number 8 said.
Yuqi, however, admitted that it was tough for him to cope with the attack-minded Axelsen in the first set.
"It was more about perseverance because Viktor is a very strong character and he has a very strong game. He was smashing very hard. If he had a good smash, I just left it and moved on. I always remained positive. And he also made many unforced errors," he said.
Yuki then revealed why he never shows frustrations on the court.
"It's a kind of rule in the Chinese team. You are not supposed to show your frustrations by throwing your racquets if things are not going your way. So it's always about remaining positive during a match," he said.
Meanwhile, Axelsen, who is eyeing to become only the second player to defend the World Superseries Finals title after Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei, will now be under tremendous pressure to win his final group game against Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan to book a semifinal spot.
"Pressure is part of the game. I am ready to handle it," the world number one said.
"I was playing Yuki for the first time today (Thursday). He came out on top. He played better than I did towards the end of the third game. So congratulations to him and his team."
rituraj@khaleejtimes.com



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