Decoding the incredible run of Indian badminton star Lakshya Sen
India's emerging badminton star Lakshya Sen faced a straight-game loss to world number one Viktor Axelsen in the men's singles final of the All England Championships. Earlier, Sen had become the fifth Indian to reach the final of the prestigious tournament. The Indian was the runner-up at the German Open earlier this month. Here, we decode his incredible run.
Sen had become the fifth Indian after Prakash Nath (1947), Prakash Padukone (1980, 1981), Pullela Gopichand (2001), and Saina Nehwal (2015) to reach the final of the All England Championships. Padukone and Gopichand are the only Indian players to have won the tournament.
In the opening match, Sen defeated his Indian counterpart Sourabh Verma 21-17, 21-7. The former then claimed a 21-16, 21-18 victory over Denmark's Anders Antonsen. Sen received a walkover from China's Lu Guang Zu, which propelled him to the semi-finals. In the penultimate clash, Sen claimed a hard-fought win (21-13, 12-21, 21-19) over Lee Zii Jia. The Indian then overcame Axelsen in the final.
Sen has competed in 13 matches this year. He boasts a win-loss record of 11-2 in 2022. Before the All England Championships, Sen reached the final of the German Open. However, he faced an 18-21, 15-21 defeat to Kunlavut Vitidsarn. Notably, Sen beat Viktor Axelsen in the semi-final (21-13, 12-21, 22-20). In the quarter-final, Sen overcame his Indian counterpart HS Prannoy.
In January this year, Sen upset world champion Loh Kean Yew to win the Yonex-Sunrise India Open. Sen defeated the Singaporean 24-22, 21-17, thereby winning the men's singles title. It was Sen's first Super 500 title. The Indian had beaten Adham Hatem Elgamal, Felix Burestedt, HS Prannoy, and NG Tze Yong en route to the tournament's final.
This year Lakshya Sen has beaten-— jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) March 19, 2022
2021 Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen
2021 Olympic bronze medal winner Anthony Ginting
2021 World champion Loh Kean Yew
2021 World bronze medalist Anders Antonsen
2021 All England champion Lee Jii Zia pic.twitter.com/cbZPjbwx4R
Lakshya Sen, one of India's finest shuttlers, has played a total of 243 matches in his career so far (182-61). In December 2021, Sen won the bronze medal at the World Championships. He secured the silver medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (Boys' singles). And, he has added another feather to his cap by finishing as the runner-up of All England Championships.