World No 1 and world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark has slammed the BWF for next year’s crammed calender and described the new service rule as “ridiculous” and “unfair”. Axelsen, who clinched two Super Series titles at India and Japan and finished runner-up at China Open, said BWF needs to focus on improving the quality of the tournaments instead of cramming the calender with more events.
“I think BWF need to focus on making the quality of the highest standard instead of putting more tournaments in the calender,” said the Odense-born shuttler, who also defended his title at the Dubai Super Series Final this season.
“We had some great badminton but if we can get the chance to practice and take care of our body we will have longer careers and better quality,” he said after a PBL game last night.
When asked about the new service rule which will be tested starting with the All England Championship next year, Axelsen said: “I think it is a ridiculous rule. You don’t lower the basket in basketball because taller players have an easier time dunking.
“I know there might be some issues in men’s doubles but I don’t think a fixed height will change it. This is just making it harder for taller players, so it is not fair at all. “It is ridiculous to try it out at All England, which is a prestigious tournament. Personally for me, I will figure it out but for more taller players like (Vladimir) Ivanov and (Mads Pieler) Kolding, it is ridiculous,” he said.
Axelsen hoped that other players also raised their voice against this rule.
“I will speak about it on social media and here to the media. It is my opinion and it is our job to speak out and I hope other players would also join me if they feel the same way,” he said.
It has been a sensational season for Axelsen, who achieved the World No 1 status in September, following his dominating run which included a maiden gold at the Glasgow World Championship.
“After a big result like the World Championship, it was always important to keep oneself stable at a higher level and I think I have been able to manage that this year. The quality is high in the men’s singles,” he said.
Axelsen said the fight for the number one status is really tight and one has to bring his best to stay on the top.
“It is really tight. Everytime you play if you can’t bring your A game, your best game, you can lose out to a lot of players,” he said.
“So you have to play close to your best to be at the top, so I am trying to do that to the best I can.”
The 23-year-old said he will have to pick the right tournaments to give his best next season.
“As for myself, I have to focus on choosing the right tournaments where I can play my best and I also have to accept that I can’t be at 110 per cent always,” he said.
“My target for next year would be All England, World Championship and Thomas Cup.”
While Axelsen scooped the important titles, India’s Kidambi Srikanth also capped a successful season with four titles and a runners-up finish at Singapore.
Axelsen said he was thrilled to see the progress made by Indian badminton and hoped to have many memorable matches against the Indian duo of Srikanth and H S Prannoy.
“Every time I am in India I keep getting a lot of questions about Srikanth, Prannoy. I think they are great and doing well and I respect that, I respect all opponents and all Indian players and it is great to see India being a really good badminton nation,” he added.