Defending champion Lakshya Sen will be aiming to recover from the setback of an early exit from Denmark Open when he takes the court to defend the SaarLorLux Open Super 100 title, beginning here on Tuesday. The 19-year-old from Almora suffered a second-round loss to experienced Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus at the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament earlier this month.
However, a week of training at Peter Gade Academy after the Denmark Open must have done a world of good to the young Indian shuttler. Lakshya, who claimed five titles in the senior circuit last year including two BWF World Tour Super 100 top honours — SaarLorLux Open and Dutch Open, received a bye in the opening round.
He will open his campaign against the winner of the first-round match between USA's Howard Shu and Italian Fabio Caponio. "Lakshya played a compact game but committed too many unforced errors against Vittinghus in the second game in Denmark. But overall he is in good shape. Winning and losing is part of the game and he will look to do better at SaarLorlux," D K Sen, Lakshya's father and coach, told PTI.
"He has been training at the Peter Gade academy after Denmark Open and also played a match on Saturday in the Danish league. So I hope he finds his best form in the tournament." Among other Indians, Subhankar Dey, who claimed the SaarLorLux title in 2018, former world no.13 Ajay Jayaram and young Malvika Bansod will also be in the fray. Seeded sixth, Subhankar also got a bye in the opening round and will open against either Switzerland's Christian Kirchmayr or Canada's Brian Yang.
Jayaram will face Belgium's Maxime Moreels in his opening match, while Malvika will take on Estonia's Kristin Kuuba in the first round of the women's singles draw. Among others, Mithun Manjunath, Kiran George, Alap Mishra, Chirag Sen and Ira Sharma couldn't make it to the tournament following complications in visa procurement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.