All England Open 2022: Lakshya Sen stuns Antonsen to enter quarters; Saina Sindhu Srikanth knocked out
The 20-year-old from Almora had claimed his maiden Super 500 title at India Open in January
Lakshya Sen is in the form of his life. The 20-year-old continued his giant-killing spree as he knocked out world No. 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-16, 21-18 and stormed into the quarterfinals of the All England Championships in Birmingham on Thursday.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty routed Germans Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel 21-7, 21-7 to also move into the last eight. Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa continued their dream run as they entered the women's doubles quarterfinals. After losing a close first game 18-21, the duo was leading 19-14 in the second when their opponents Greysia Poli and Apriyani Rahayu retired.
Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth went down fighting to fifth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 9-21, 21-18, 21-19.
Indian challenge ended in women's singles with the exit of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. Sixth seed Sindhu went down to unseeded Japanese shuttler Sayaka Takahasi 19-21, 21-16, 17-21 and Saina lost to Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 14-21, 21-17, 17-21.
Antonsen, who ousted world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore on Wednesday, came a cropper against Lakshya. The Indian had stunned Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in the semifinal of the German Open last week.
The new star of Indian badminton is proving to be an all-round player. Though he took time to adjust to Antonsen's pace, Lakshya played the waiting game till his opponent wilted under pressure.
"Happy to be in the quarterfinals of this historic event," Lakshya said. "There's drift on either side. In the first set I was focusing on keeping the shuttle back in play. I could get good length in the first game, In the second game, I took my chances and that worked for me,'' Lakshya added.
Antonsen was aggressive in the first game. Lakshya looked worried by the pace, but focused on returning everything. A sensational retrieve in the middle of the first game, stumped Antonsen, who thought he had killed the shuttle.
As the rattled Dane looked for other options, Lakshya calmly made it 15-9, before winning the game. In the second game, Lakshya lost his way after the break. Leading 11-7, Lakshya allowed Antonsen to score six straight points to move to 13-11.
But the youngster from Almora regrouped in time, playing mostly straight smashes. Antonsen gave up the fight once Lakshya reached 19-16. Lakshya will face Lu Guang Zu in the quarterfinals. Zu eased past Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong. This will be the first meeting between the world No.11 Indian against the Chinese world No. 27.