World Cup bronze medalist Lakshya Sen kicked off his first World Tour Super 500 top match on Saturday with a come-from-behind win over Malaysian Ng Tze Yong at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open. Third-seeded Sen, 17th in the world, will face reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew from Singapore in the top match on Sunday in a repeat of last year’s Dutch Open final.
The 20-year-old from Almora, who joined his mentor Prakash Padukone, B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth as a medalist at the World Championships last month, took a 19-21 21-16 21-12 victory over the world number 60 Yong in a exciting semi-final clash.
“It’s a good feeling to play my first Super 500 final in my home country. The first game was pretty close, I made some mistakes that cost me. But I kept my composure in the second and third games and managed to get back.” pull,” Sen said after the game.
Loh, seeded fifth, received a walkover from Canadian Brian Yang in the other semifinals after suffering a sore throat and headache.
Sen is eager to set the record straight after losing the Dutch Open final to Loh. Overall, the duo has a 2-2 head-to-head record, with Sen losing two of their last three encounters.
“We are both playing well, it will be a good game tomorrow and I am really looking forward to playing against him,” Sen said of his latest clash.
Both shuttlers showed their offensive ability in the last four encounters.
Sen got his opponent across the field with his returns and used his smashes to good effect to open a four point lead at 10-6 after initially trailing 2-4.
The Indian went into halftime 11-8 after Yong went wide.
After the break, Sen delivered some solid smashes to disturb the Malaysian, but couldn’t handle the pressure as Yong made it 14-14. The Malaysian tricked Sen with a precise shot to take the lead.
Yong then won a video referral and took a two-point lead at 16-14. Sen then checked the procedure to claw back at 17-17.
However, Yong took two game points when a return from Sen’s serve went wide and sealed it comfortably.
Yong carried the momentum into the second game to give them a 4-1 lead. Sen did well to close the gap, but Young made sure he had his nose ahead at halftime.
Sen resumed his pursuit of turning things around. He pulled parity at 13-13 and worked his way to a 19-16 lead with a powerful drive away from his opponent’s forehand. A net error by Yong gave Sen four game points, which he sealed when Yong made another foul at the net.
In the decider, Sen got off to a confident start, leading 4-1 and then reaching 9-5 with another crosscourt jump smash. He played another precision shot at the baseline and when Yong went wide, Sen went into halftime with a massive six-point advantage.
Sen then went on a great blow to quickly jump to an 18-12 lead. He took eight match points with a drop and sealed it without much fuss after his opponent had scored the net again.
Sen had won two Super 100 titles in 2019 – Dutch Open and SaarLorLux Open – alongside three international challenges in Belgium, Scotland and Bangladesh, before COVID-19 somewhat halted his progress.
Last year, the youngster reached the semi-finals at Hylo, reached the knockout stage at the World Tour Finals on his debut before sizzling a bronze medal at the World Championships.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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