Now Axelsen blasts new service rule

It's very harsh on tall players, says World No 1

Now Axelsen blasts new service rule

New Delhi: World No 1 Viktor Axelsen slammed Badminton World Federation (BWF), calling its new service rule "ridiculous".

The 23-year-old Dane was unsparing in his views on the new service rule which would be put to test at the 2018 All England Championships. Standing at 1.94m, Axelsen with compatriot Mads Pieler Kolding had even made a video to exhibit the unfairness of the rule, and uploaded it on social media. Even former World No 1 and Olympic Gold medallist Carolina Marin had termed the revised service rule "stupid"

"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," Axelsen said on the sidelines of Premier Badminton League where he was representing Bengaluru Blasters.

"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. It is my opinion and it is our job to speak out. I hope other players would also join me if they feel the same way," he said.

Axelsen was equally critical on world's body's move to make it mandatory for the top 15 singles players and top 10 pairs in the doubles to play at least 12 tournaments in a year or incur heavy fine. It has attracted strong protests from Indian players too, especially with Commonwealth Games and Asian Games featuring in 2018.

"I think BWF need to focus on making the quality of the highest standard instead of putting more tournaments in the calendar. 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."

On court, it has been a fantastic year for Axelsen who clinched the prestigious World Championships title and became World No 1 in September. The Dane said he was doing his best to keep up his standards.

"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. It is really tight in men's singles. Every time you play if you can't bring your A game, your best game, you can lose out to a lot of players. 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."

 

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