Fighting Asthma, Axelsen hopes to peak at the right time
Viktor Axelsen entered the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall here wearing a pollution mask. He left wearing one. The Danish World No. 4 was seen speaking to the team physiotherapist, who made sure he was in the right shape after what looked like a fierce training session on Sunday.
The year 2018 was one filled with struggles for the 2017 World champion. A hot summer in Denmark coupled with allergies left a lasting impact on Axelsen and the Capital's never-ending air pollution seemed to make the situation no better.
"I still have some Asthma problems. When the weather isn't ideal for my Asthma, I have to protect myself in order not have issues again. During the Indian league (PBL) I had some issues but now it's better. I still have to take care of it and mostly stay indoors," he said.
The 25-year-old was at his best at the All England Championships as he ended runner-up after a superb battle with World No. 1 Kento Momota in the summit clash. His next goal is the World Championships, where he hopes to peak again at the right time, suggesting there is still a long way to go for him.
"The level is very high. At the All England, I played my best. I feel I am slowly going back to my top level and there's a long way to go for me.
"All England was one of my big goals. It's pretty hard to peak at tournaments considering we play too many. I am okay now but still not at my peak condition. I am, however, confident going in. There are just two to three times in a year when you can peak physically and my target is the World Championship, where I hope to play well," he said.
Speaking about the draw at the India Open, Axelsen said: "The draw is exciting, some of the top players are not here. But I don't try to focus too much on the draw and just look at the first round playing my old teammate Misha (Zilberman).
"I am not thinking about the quarters at this moment. I look to focus on one match at a time and next is on Wednesday and I will prepare for that."