Viktor Axelsen

Viktor Axelsen (born 4 January 1994) is a Danish badminton player and the reigning Olympic Champion. He is the 2017 World champion and the 2020 Olympic champion.[2] He won the 2010 World Junior Championships, beating South Korea's Kang Ji-wook in the final to become the first ever European player to hold the title.[3] Axelsen was crowned European men's singles champion in 2016 and 2018.[4]

Viktor Axelsen
Viktor Axelsen - Indonesia Masters 2018.jpg
Axelsen at the 2018 Indonesia Masters
Personal information
Born (1994-01-04) 4 January 1994 (age 28)
Odense, Denmark
ResidenceDubai, United Arab Emirates[1]
Height1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)
Years active2010–present
Men's singles
Career record421 wins, 137 losses
Highest ranking1 (28 September 2017)
Current ranking1 (7 December 2021)
BWF profile

Early lifeEdit

Axelsen was born in Odense, and at six years old, his father introduced him to badminton, playing the games at the Odense badminton club.[5][6] He lived with his father after his parents divorced, then lived alone in Copenhagen at the age of 17 and joined the national team.[7] His father Henrik Axelsen ran a small advertising agency for a number of years, but now works full time as a manager for his son, and his mother Gitte Lundager has a shop in central Odense with a hairdressing salon, cosmetics and fashion clothing. He was named as 2004 Player of the Year by Odense badminton club.[8]


2006–2011: Early career and World Junior titleEdit

Viktor Axelsen at 2010 Dutch Open

Axelsen achievements begin when he won the National junior event in the boys' singles and doubles in his age group in 2006 and 2008.[8] He later emerged victorious at the 2009 German Junior and also at the European U17 Championships.[9] He made his debut in the senior international tournament at the 2009 Denmark Open played in the men's doubles event with Steffen Rasmussen.[5]

In January 2010, Axelsen who played from the qualification round manage to reach the finals at the Swedish International tournament, and finished as the runner-up after lost to Indra Bagus Ade Chandra in straight games 15–21, 12–21.[10] He competed at the World Junior Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, claimed the boys' singles title by defeating the No.1 seed, China's Huang Yuxiang in the quarterfinals, India's B. Sai Praneeth in the semis and Kang Ji-wook of Korea in the final.[9] In October, he claimed his first international senior title at the age of just sixteen, winning the Cyprus International.[11] A few weeks later he entered his first Super Series event in singles, the Denmark Open 2010; making it through the qualifying stages before losing out to compatriot and eventual winner Jan Ø. Jørgensen in the second round.[12]

In 2011, Axelsen secured gold at the European Junior Championships, defeating teammate Rasmus Fladberg 21–8, 17–21, 21–13 in the final.[13] He took a silver medal at the 2011 BWF World Junior Championships, lost the title to Malaysia's Zulfadli Zulkiffli, coming in second place.[14]

2012–2014: First Grand Prix title, European and World bronzeEdit

In early 2012, Axelsen moved to Valby, in Copenhagen, and started training at Brøndby elite center.[6] Axelsen finished runner-up at the French Open in Paris, losing in the final to Daren Liew 18–21, 17–21.[15] He also won a bronze medal at the 2012 European Championships losing the semi-final in three games to Sweden's Henri Hurskainen 21–18, 18–21, 17–21.[16]

In 2014, Axelsen has won his first Grand Prix title at the Swiss Open, beating China's Tian Houwei in the final 21–7, 16–21, 25–23.[17] Axelsen won a bronze medal at the 2014 BWF World Championships and also a bronze medal again at the 2014 European Championships.[18]

2015–2016: European champion, Olympic bronze, and Superseries titleEdit

In 2015, Axelsen finished runners-up at the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold, three Super Series events India Open, Australian Open, and Japan Open. He qualified to compete at the Super Series Finals held in Dubai, and again finished as the runner-up.[19] Axelsen featured in Denmark winning team at the European Mixed Team Championships in Leuven, Belgium.[20][21] At the Sudirman Cup, the team finished in the quarter finals lost 2–3 to Japanese team, where he played in the second matches.[22] He ended the 2015 season ranked as world number 6.

In 2016, Axelsen earned his first European crown in May 2016 beating compatriot and defending champion Jan Ø. Jørgensen with 21–11, 21–16 in the final of the 25th edition of the European Championships, the first in France at La Roche-sur-Yon. He was also part of the historic Danish team winning the first ever Thomas Cup title in 2016. Axelsen won five of his six played singles matches in the team tournament, also against Indonesia's experienced player Tommy Sugiarto in the final (21–17, 21–18) setting up a dramatic and historic 3–2 victory for Denmark over Indonesia. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, he won the bronze medal by beating Lin Dan from China 21–15, 12–21, 21–17.

2017: World champion, second Superseries Finals title, World number 1Edit

In 2017, Axelsen won the World Championship in Glasgow in two sets against Lin Dan (22–20, 21–16) and became the third Danish player to ever become a world champion (Peter Rasmussen 1997 in Glasgow & Flemming Delfs 1977 in Sweden).[18] Axelsen, with a record of 4–3, is the only top twenty player to hold a winning record against Lin Dan, head-to-head.[23]

Axelsen followed up his victory in Glasgow by winning the finals of the Japan Open tournament in Tokyo over Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in three sets on 23 September, propelling him to the top of the BWF World Rankings.[24]

2018–2019: Second European Championships titleEdit

In 2018, Axelsen participated in the European Men's and Women's Team Badminton Championships and got a gold after suffered from a foot injury. He represented Denmark in the 2018 Thomas & Uber Cup. In the group stage, he defeated Vladimir Malkov from Russia and from Algeria. In the group stage match against Lee Chong Wei, he lost by two straight games 9–21, 19–21. In the quarter finals match against South Korea, he defeated Son Wan-ho, but he lost to the favorite and former world no. 2, Kento Momota in semi finals. Denmark was then eliminated in semi finals but not the defending champion of 2016 Thomas & Uber Cup. In August, Axelsen was unable to defend his world title where he was defeated by two-time World Champion and reigning Olympic Champion Chen Long in the quarter finals.[25]

2020: All England Open titleEdit

Axelsen started the season by competing in Indonesia Masters. He finished as the semi-finalists after lost to home player the seventh seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in two straight games.[26] In February, he managed to defend his title in Barcelona Spain Masters after beating the Thai youngster Kunlavut Vitidsarn in straight games 21–16, 21–13.[27] In March, he won the All England Open, making history as the first European and Dane to lift the men's singles trophy since 1999.[28]

2021: Olympic gold and first Denmark Open titleEdit

Axelsen participated at the European Mixed Team Championships in Finland, and helped the team win the gold medal.[29] In March, Axelsen entered the All England Open as the defending champion. He reached the final, but lost to 6th seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia in a grueling 3 set match (29-30, 22-20, 9-21).[30] He then took part at the Kyiv European Championships, advanced to the final, but the organizers decided to cancel the finals, since Axelsen tested positive for COVID-19. Consequently, he was barred from playing the final match with his compatriot Anders Antonsen and was awarded with a silver medal.[31] He won the gold medal in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, beating Chen Long in straight games in the final and without dropping a single game in the entire tournament.[32]

In October, he won the Denmark Open title, defeating the top seed and world no.1 Kento Momota in a thrilling final match in three games. The match lasted 93 minutes. This was Axelsen's only second ever victory over Momota in their sixteen encounters.[33] He then won his second super 1000 title of the year at the Indonesian Open by beating Singapore's Loh Kean Yew.[34] For his achievements, Axelsen regain the number 1 spot at the BWF World ranking and have been named the 2020/2021 BWF Male Player of the Year.[35][36] He then won the season ending of the 2021 BWF World Tour Finals, beating the current Eddy Chong Most Promising Player, Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the final in straight games, adding another victory to his undeniably successful year.[37]


Olympic GamesEdit

Men's singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2016 Riocentro – Pavilion 4, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   Lin Dan 15–21, 21–10, 21–17   Bronze
2020 Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo, Japan   Chen Long 21–15, 21–12   Gold

BWF World ChampionshipsEdit

Men's singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2014 Ballerup Super Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark   Lee Chong Wei 9–21, 7–21   Bronze
2017 Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland   Lin Dan 22–20, 21–16   Gold

European ChampionshipsEdit

Men's singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2012 Telenor Arena, Karlskrona, Sweden   Henri Hurskainen 21–18, 18–21, 17–21   Bronze
2014 Gymnastics Center, Kazan, Russia   Jan Ø. Jørgensen 11–21, 13–21   Bronze
2016 Vendéspace, La Roche-sur-Yon, France   Jan Ø. Jørgensen 21–11, 21–16   Gold
2017 Sydbank Arena, Kolding, Denmark   Anders Antonsen 17–21, 16–21   Bronze
2018 Palacio de Deportes, Huelva, Spain   Rajiv Ouseph 21–8, 21–7   Gold
2021 Palace of Sports, Kyiv, Ukraine   Anders Antonsen Walkover   Silver

BWF World Junior ChampionshipsEdit

Boys' singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2010 Domo del Code Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico   Kang Ji-Wook 21–19, 21–10   Gold
2011 Taoyuan Arena, Taoyuan City, Taipei, Taiwan   Zulfadli Zulkiffli 18–21, 21–9, 19–21   Silver

European Junior ChampionshipsEdit

Boys' singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
2011 Energia Areena, Vantaa, Finland   Rasmus Fladberg 21–8, 17–21, 21–13   Gold

BWF World Tour (11 titles, 5 runners-up)Edit

The BWF World Tour, which was announced on 19 March 2017 and implemented in 2018,[38] is a series of elite badminton tournaments sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The BWF World Tours are divided into levels of World Tour Finals, Super 1000, Super 750, Super 500, Super 300 (part of the HSBC World Tour), and the BWF Tour Super 100.[39]

Men's singles

Year Tournament Level Opponent Score Result
2018 Malaysia Masters Super 500   Kenta Nishimoto 21–13, 21–23, 21–18   Winner
2018 Indonesia Open Super 1000   Kento Momota 14–21, 9–21   Runner-up
2019 Spain Masters Super 300   Anders Antonsen 21–14, 21–11   Winner
2019 All England Open Super 1000   Kento Momota 11–21, 21–15, 15–21   Runner-up
2019 India Open Super 500   Srikanth Kidambi 21–7, 22–20   Winner
2020 Malaysia Masters Super 500   Kento Momota 22–24, 11–21   Runner-up
2020 Spain Masters Super 300   Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21–16, 21–13   Winner
2020 All England Open Super 1000   Chou Tien-chen 21–13, 21–14   Winner
2020 (I) Thailand Open Super 1000   Ng Ka Long 21–14, 21–14   Winner
2020 (II) Thailand Open Super 1000   Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21–11, 21–7   Winner
2020 BWF World Tour Finals World Tour Finals   Anders Antonsen 16–21, 21–5, 17–21   Runner-up
2021 Swiss Open Super 300   Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21–16, 21–6   Winner
2021 All England Open Super 1000   Lee Zii Jia 29–30, 22–20, 9–21   Runner-up
2021 Denmark Open Super 1000   Kento Momota 20–22, 21–18, 21–12   Winner
2021 Indonesia Open Super 1000   Loh Kean Yew 21–13, 9–21, 21–13   Winner
2021 BWF World Tour Finals World Tour Finals   Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21–12, 21–8   Winner

BWF Superseries (4 titles, 7 runners-up)Edit

The BWF Superseries, which was launched on 14 December 2006 and implemented in 2007,[40] was a series of elite badminton tournaments, sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). BWF Superseries levels were Superseries and Superseries Premier. A season of Superseries consisted of twelve tournaments around the world that had been introduced since 2011.[41] Successful players were invited to the Superseries Finals, which were held at the end of each year.

Men's singles

Year Tournament Opponent Score Result
2012 French Open   Liew Daren 18–21, 17–21   Runner-up
2015 India Open   Srikanth Kidambi 21–18, 13–21, 12–21   Runner-up
2015 Australian Open   Chen Long 12–21, 21–14, 18–21   Runner-up
2015 Japan Open   Lin Dan 19–21, 21–16, 19–21   Runner-up
2015 Dubai World Superseries Finals   Kento Momota 15–21, 12–21   Runner-up
2016 India Open   Kento Momota 15–21, 18–21   Runner-up
2016 Dubai World Superseries Finals   Tian Houwei 21–14, 6–21, 21–17   Winner
2017 India Open   Chou Tien-chen 21–13, 21–10   Winner
2017 Japan Open   Lee Chong Wei 21–14, 19–21, 21–14   Winner
2017 China Open   Chen Long 16–21, 21–14, 13–21   Runner-up
2017 Dubai World Superseries Finals   Lee Chong Wei 19–21, 21–19, 21–15   Winner
  Superseries Finals tournament
  Superseries Premier tournament
  Superseries tournament

BWF Grand Prix (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

The BWF Grand Prix had two levels, the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Gold. It was a series of badminton tournaments sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and played between 2007 and 2017.

Men's singles

Year Tournament Opponent Score Result
2014 Swiss Open   Tian Houwei 21–7, 16–21, 25–23   Winner
2015 Swiss Open   Srikanth Kidambi 14–21, 24–22, 21–8   Runner-up
  BWF Grand Prix Gold tournament
  BWF Grand Prix tournament

BWF International Challenge/Series (4 titles, 2 runners-up)Edit

Men's singles

Year Tournament Opponent Score Result
2010 Swedish International Stockholm   Indra Bagus Ade Chandra 15–21, 12–21   Runner-up
2010 Cyprus International   Simon Maunoury 21–10, 21–11   Winner
2011 Swedish International Stockholm   Pablo Abián 19–21, 6–21   Runner-up
2011 Spanish Open   Pablo Abián 21–11, 7–21, 21–9   Winner
2013 Dutch International   Eric Pang 24–22, 21–12   Winner
2013 Denmark International   Ville Lång 21–17, 21–8   Winner
  BWF International Challenge tournament
  BWF International Series tournament

Personal lifeEdit

In addition to his native Danish, Axelsen is also a fluent speaker of English and Mandarin.[42]

Axelsen's girlfriend, Natalia Koch Rohde, gave birth to a baby girl named Vega Rohde Axelsen on 15 October 2020.[43][44]

Performance timelineEdit

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (G) gold, (S) silver or (B) bronze medal; (NH) not held; (N/A) not applicable.
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

National teamEdit

  • Junior level
Team events 2010 2011
European Junior Championships NH B
World Junior Championships 6th A
  • Senior level
Team events 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
European Men's Team Championships G NH G NH G NH G NH G NH
European Mixed Team Championships NH S NH G NH G NH G NH G
Thomas Cup B NH QF NH G NH B NH B NH

Individual competitionsEdit

  • Junior level
Events 2010 2011 2012
European Junior Championships NH G NH
World Junior Championships G S QF
  • Senior level
Events 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
European Championships B NH B NH G B G NH S
World Championships NH 2R B QF NH G QF A NH 1R
Olympic Games DNQ NH B NH G NH
Tournament BWF Superseries / Grand Prix BWF World Tour Best
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Swiss Open A 2R QF 2R W F A w/d NH W W {'14, '21)
German Open A 2R 2R QF A 1R A NH QF ('14)
All England Open A 1R 1R 1R QF QF QF w/d F W F W ('20)
Malaysia Masters A W SF F NH W ('18)
Australian Open A 1R F w/d w/d A NH F ('15)
India Open A QF F F W w/d W NH W ('17, '19)
Spain Masters NH A W W A W ('19, '20)
Malaysia Open A 1R 1R 1R 1R QF 2R QF QF NH QF ('16, '18, '19)
Singapore Open A QF SF A 1R 2R 2R 1R A SF NH SF ('12, '19)
Thailand Open A NH 1R A NH A W NH W ('20 I, '20 II)
Korea Open A 2R 1R 1R w/d w/d 2R 2R NH 2R ('13, '18, '19)
Chinese Taipei Open A QF A NH QF ('13)
China Open A Q1 A 1R 2R QF SF F 2R 1R NH F ('17)
Japan Open A 1R 2R A 1R F QF W SF w/d NH W ('17)
Syed Modi International A NH A SF A NH SF ('15)
Dutch Open A QF A NH NA QF ('10)
Denmark Open Q1 (MD) 2R QF 1R 2R 1R SF 2R QF 2R SF A W W ('21)
French Open A 1R A F 1R QF 2R 2R w/d w/d SF NH 1R F ('12)
Bitburger Open A 1R A w/d A 1R ('10)
Fuzhou China Open A 1R 1R A w/d QF NH QF ('19)
Hong Kong Open A 2R 2R 2R QF 1R A w/d A QF NH QF ('14, '19)
Indonesia Masters A NH 2R SF SF 2R SF ('19, '20)
Indonesia Open A 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R F w/d NH W W ('21)
London Grand Prix Gold NH SF NH SF ('13)
Superseries / Tour Finals DNQ F W W DNQ RR F W W ('16, '17, '21)
Year-end ranking 66 35 27 23 12 6 3 1 6 5 4 1 1
Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Best

Career overviewEdit

Record against selected opponentsEdit

Record against year-end Finals finalists, World Championships semi finalists, and Olympic quarter finalists. Accurate as of 18 December 2021.[45]


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External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Danish Sports Name of the Year
Succeeded by