On Sunday, at the IG stadium, Lakshya Sen beat Singapore Loh Kean Yew to claim India Open Super 500 title, tempting instinct to match the world champion’s showboating.
A pair of men in their early 20s, both of whom possess exuberant attack capabilities, could have come to a point when the Almora man’s life was at risk as they got into a race to see who hit harder and faster. However, Sen showed maturity and control, putting to shade the just-crowned world champion. Having won the world championships bronze medal, Sen became the first opponent to defeat Kean Yew on the circuit, with a 24-22, 21-17 victory.
Rankireddy and Shetty’s victory against Hendra Setiawan and Mohamad Ahsan, who had won three world championships earlier in the day, was proof that the age of the well-seasoned Indian men’s badminton players, who are not a one-off like Prakash Padukone and P Gopichand, is here.
Sen said, “It feels nice to win. In the end I was a little anxious to win. But I am happy I pulled off the win”. Sen was under pressure at the end of both the semifinals and the finals. Having the confidence and momentum to hold his own under pressure makes Sen the most anticipated player of 2022 in Indian badminton.