Sen upset world champion Loh Kean Yew 24-22, 21-17 in 54 minutes to win his first Super 500 title at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi. The men’s singles final saw the two world championships medallists facing off for the fifth time.
“It feels good to win the tournament in India that too my first Super 500 title. And am now motivated to play many more tournaments in the season,” Lakshya Sen told ANI.
Sen, who had won the bronze medal in his debut world championship last month, was first to get off the blocks as he controlled the rallies brilliantly and put Loh under pressure.
He soon raced to a 16-9 lead and though Loh began to find his rhythm, the Indian looked in total control as he had five-point advantage at 19-14. But the world champion wasn’t going to just fold up and he turned the tables on the Indian by clinching six straight points to earn a game point. Sen saved two of them, wasted one himself but kept his cool to clinch the second, and changed ends with a definite advantage.
“When he got a match point, I ensured that I didn’t make any mistakes and didn’t rush for any point. I also wanted to keep the shuttle in and to play at a fast pace,” he explained.
Sen has now the advantage of 3-2 in head-to-head against the Singaporean shuttler.
“Before facing Loh Kean I was only thinking about winning the India Open, the head-to-head and all other things come later,” Sen said and added: “I had a good rhythm from the last season before entering the India Open.”
“Results like this are motivating and give you confidence,” the 20-year-old said. Talking about the upcoming season and his preparations, the Indian shuttler said.
“I will be targeting the All-England and German Open to perform well. And a few tournaments before the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.”
Speaking of the India Open, which was held this year without any crowd at KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi, Sen said: “It was good when I climbed on the podium and it could have been better if the crowd was present there.”
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