Monday, May 27, 2024

Lakshya Sen exits US Open after defeat in semis

Lakshya Sen 1

Council Bluffs (U.S.), July 16: India’s badminton star Lakshya Sen displayed great resilience before succumbing to reigning All England champion Li Shi Feng from China in the men’s singles semifinals of the US Open Super 300 event on Saturday.
Seeded third, Lakshya fought valiantly but eventually lost 17-21, 24-22, 17-21 against the second-seeded Feng in a grueling last-four match that lasted one hour and 16 minutes.
The opening game witnessed a close duel between the seventh-ranked Feng and the 12th-ranked Lakshya, with both players fiercely vying for dominance until reaching 17 points. However, the Chinese shuttler exhibited aggressive play, taking advantage of some unforced errors made by the Indian, allowing Feng to secure the lead.
Nevertheless, Lakshya, a bronze medalist in the world championships, refused to surrender without a fight and mounted a strong comeback in the second game.
The second game also saw an intense battle between the two shuttlers, as neither was willing to concede an inch to the other. Engaged in lengthy rallies, they employed a mixture of clever drop shots and powerful smashes in their attempts to outmaneuver each other. This fierce contest continued until 22 points, at which point Lakshya secured two consecutive points, leveling the match and pushing it into a decisive third game.
The final game mirrored the pattern of the first, as Feng took an early advantage, leading 11-8 at the break. However, Lakshya remained in contention until the score reached 17 points, at which point his Chinese opponent accelerated and booked his entry to the final.
Just last week, he had defeated Feng 21-18, 22-20 to claim his second BWF Super 500 title at the Canada Open.
(ToI With agency inputs)