Archive photo of Lakshya Sen.© AFP
Lakshya Sen, the bronze medalist of the World Championships, ended Sunday with a direct loss to rising star Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the top match of the German Open Super 300 badminton tournament in Mülheim An Der Ruhr. 20-year-old Sen, who claimed his first Super 500 title at the India Open in January, lost 18-21 15-21 in 57 minutes to three-time junior world champion Vitidsarn in the final. World No. 12 Sen entered the game with a 3-3 head-to-head record against Vitidsarn, ranked 20th, after beating the Thais in their last meeting at Hylo Open last year.
In a close battle, Sen and Vitidsarn agreed in speed in the rallies to set up 4-4 before the Thai pushed on his variations and trickery to take a comfortable 11-6 lead at the break.
Sen picked up his pace and took control of the net to make it 15-16, but an alert Vitidsarn managed to take two game points with a cross-court drop above the ground. Sen needed medical attention for a blister on his foot, even as the Thai came up with a cross court smash to take home the opening game.
The grueling semi-final against Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen seemed to have taken its toll on Sen, as Vitidsarn jumped to a 7-3 lead in the second game before moving to an 11-5 lead after the switch sides.
The Indian needed the doctor’s attention again as he fought his way back with four straight points, but Vitidsarn managed to go to 19-15 and then take five match points before starting the second game and the match in the first chance. sealed.
Sen had won two Super 100 titles – Dutch Open and SaarLorLux Open – alongside three international challenges in Belgium, Scotland and Bangladesh in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hampered his progress.
Last year, the youngster reached the semi-finals in Hylo, made it to the knockout stage at the World Tour Finals on his debut before sizzling a bronze medal at the World Championships.
Topics mentioned in this article