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Lakshya Sen misses date with history at All England Open Badminton C'ships

2022 silver medalist at All England Open Badminton, Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen lost to Jonatan Christie in the semi-final.

Lakshya Sen

Lakshya Sen in action (BAI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 16 March 2024 6:44 PM GMT

It would have been poetic if Lakshya Sen had reached the final of the All England Open Badminton Championships, with the only Indian shuttler to have done so, Prakash Padukone, on his coach's bench.

But sadly, a second final of All England was not in Lakshya's fortunes as Jonatan Christie found an extra gear in the deciding game to defeat in 21-12,10-21, 21-15 in the semi-finals.

In a game of fine margins, the Indian shuttler came just short but will be mighty proud of a creditable finish at the prestigious tournament.

Sen, who reached the semifinals of the French Open Super 750 the previous week, has been on the court for 491 minutes playing some nerve-wracking badminton in the last 11 days, and, perhaps, those grueling three-setters might have taken their toll on him as he ran out of steam in the semis.

Christie will now face fellow Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in Sunday's final.

"I am pretty disappointed with the result but, overall, the way I played, surely, I have the level to be there and win the big tournaments," Sen said after the match.

"I have been through some tough patches before this, but there has been a lot of support for me on social media but I couldn't do my best today. I made some easy mistakes," he said.

Both players unleashed many smashes during the match clocking more than 300kmph and brought out immaculate defence to counter it too.

It was a slow start for Sen as Christie read his game well and dominated the early proceedings. Christie continued with his 11-7 lead at the mid-game break and raced to a lead of 17-10 with a couple of powerful smashes.

The momentum, however, completely shifted after the change of sides with Sen taking more initiative to lead 7-3.

It was Christie who was making a series of unforced errors now. Sen took advantage of the errors and raced to a lead of 13-3. Christie tried to come back but Lakshya's winners were too powerful.

Lakshya sealed the second game with a precise on-the-line smash and forced a decider.

In the decider, it was Lakshya who started well and got a 3-0 lead. Christie came back to make it 3-3 but Lakshya again went up in the game with his powerful smashes.

At the score of 6-4, the duo played a 63-shot rally which exhausted Sen as Christie won the point with a deceptive shot.

The long rally turned out to be the turning point as Christie grabbed the advantage and raced to a lead of 11-8. After the change of the sides, Christie brought his booming smashes out and Lakshya was completely derailed.

Christie led 15-10 and despite Lakshya's attempt to come back in the match, he won the match 21-15 courtesy of a net error by Lakshya.

It has been memorable two weeks for Lakshya as he played some of his best badminton, defeated top-level players, and solidified his position in the race of the 2024 Olympics.

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