World Championship bronze medalist Lakshya Sen advanced to men’s singles with a thrilling win, but it was the curtains for two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu at Saturday’s Yonex-Sunrise India Open. 20-year-old Sen gathered his way to a 19-21 21-16 21-12 win over Malaysia’s No. 60 Ng Tze Yong to enter his first World Tour Super 500 top-flight race. However, there was disappointment in the women’s singles as top league and home favorite Sindhu lost 14-21 21-13 10-21 to sixth-seeded Thai Supanida Katethong.
Young Aakarshi Kashyap also had a golden opportunity, but she forfeited five game points in the opening match, taking Busanan to a 26-24 21-9 victory in the other women’s singles semi-final.
Sen, placed third, will face reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in Sunday’s top match in a repeat of last year’s Dutch Open final.
“It’s a good feeling to play my first Super 500 final in my home country,” said Sen, who had won two Super 100 titles in 2019 — Dutch Open and SaarLorLux Open — in addition to three international challenges in Belgium, Scotland and Bangladesh. .
“The first game was pretty close, I made a few mistakes that cost me. But I kept my composure in the second and third games and managed to do well,” he added.
Loh, seeded fifth, received a walkover from Canadian Brian Yang in the other semifinals after suffering a sore throat and headache.
In the men’s doubles, the world’s number 10, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, rode to a 21-10 21-18 victory over French duo William Villeger and Fabien Delrue to reach the final.
Chirag and Satwik will face three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia on Sunday. In other results, Indian women’s doubles pair Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayan and Ashna Roy lost 12-21 9-21 to fourth-seeded Benyapa Aimsaard and Thailand’s Nuntakarn Aimsaard.
On Sunday, 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.
In the semifinals of the men’s singles, both shuttlers showed their attacking power during the last four matches.
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 went back into the net.
Sindhu, who defeated Katethong at the Indonesia Masters last year, couldn’t give her best against an opponent who was ranked 33rd in the world.
She had no answer for her opponent’s compact play, as the opening game slipped through her fingers in no time.
A rambling Sindhu dished out some aggressive returns after switching sides to lead 4-2 and managed to take a slim 11-10 lead at halftime.
She seemed to be in control after that and quickly picked up eight game points. She lost the first chance before roaring back into the game when Katethong made a mistake.
The decider started off as a close affair, but Katethong quickly built up a slim 9-7 lead before going into halftime 11-7.
Katethong was spot on with her return and was watertight in her defense, traits that helped her move to a 16-9 lead, before taking massive eight match points and sealing when Sindhu went long again.
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