Lakshya Sen enters India Open final with thrilling win

World Championships bronze medalist Lakshya Sen entered his maiden World Tour Super 500 summit clash with a behind-the-scenes win over Malaysia’s Ng Tje Yong at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open on Saturday. Third seed Sen, ranked 17th in the world, will face defending world champion Loh Keen Yew of Singapore in the final of last year’s Dutch Open in the summit clash on Sunday.

The 20-year-old from Almora, who along with his mentors Prakash Padukone, B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth had joined World Championships medalists last month, won 19-21, 21-16, 21-12 at world no. registered. 60 yong in a thrilling semi-final bout.

“It’s a great feeling to play my first Super 500 final in my country. The first game was pretty close, I made some mistakes which cost me. But I kept my cool in the second and third games and managed to get out, Sen Said after the match.

Loh, seeded fifth, was given a walkover by Canada’s Brian Yang in the other semi-finals after suffering a sore throat and headache.

Sen will look to set a straight record after losing to Loh in the final of the Dutch Open. Overall, the two have a 2-2 face-off record, with Sen losing two of the last three meetings.

“We are both playing well, tomorrow it will be a good match and I am really looking forward to playing with him,” Sen said of his final clash.

Both the shuttlers showed their attacking skills during the last four clashes.

Sen took his opponent across the court with his return and made good use of his smashes to take a four-point lead at 10-6 after going down 2-4 at the start.

The Indian entered the interval 11-8 after Yong went wide.

After the break, Sen made some hard smashes to trouble the Malaysian but he could not keep the pressure up as Yong made it 14-14. The Malaysian misses Sen with a perfect net shot to take the lead.

Yong then won a video referral to take a two-point lead at 16-14. Sen then controlled the proceedings to return at 17-17.

However, Yong grabbed two game points when Sen’s return of serve went wide and sealed it comfortably.

Yong maintained the momentum in the second game to take a 4-1 lead. Sen did well to cover the deficit but Young made sure his nose was ahead at the break.

Resuming 9-11, Sen continued his chase to turn things around. He leveled 13-13 and took a 19-16 lead with a powerful drive away from his opponent’s forehand. A net error from Yong gave Sen four game points and sealed it when Yong again made a mistake in the net.

In the decider, Sen made a confident start to lead 4-1 before reaching 9-5 with a cross court jump smash. He played a more accurate shot at the baseline and with Yong’s wide, Sen entered the gap with a massive six-point advantage.

Sen then quickly took an 18-12 lead in a smash-hitting spree. He picked up eight match points with a drop and sealed it without a hitch after his opponent hit the net again.

Sen had won two Super 100 titles – the Dutch Open and the SaarLorLux Open – in addition to three international challenges in Belgium, Scotland and Bangladesh in 2019 after COVID-19 halted his progress somewhat.

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Last year, the youngster made it to the semifinals at Hylo, sizzling with a bronze medal at the World Championships before reaching the knockout stage at the World Tour Finals.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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