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Lakshya Sen stuns defending champion Lee Zii Jia to enter final


Lakshya Sen grew to become solely the third males’s singles participant after Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand to attain the final after outwitting Lee 21-13, 12-21, 21-19 in a gruelling semi-final match.

Birmingham: World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen confirmed nerves of metal as he surprised defending champion Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia to e book a maiden final berth within the All England Badminton Championships on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Sen grew to become solely the fourth males’s singles participant after Prakash Nath, Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand to attain the final of the celebrated match after outwitting sixth seed Lee 21-13, 12-21 21-19 in a gruelling semi-final match that lasted one hour and 16 minutes.

While Padukone (1980) and Gopichand (2001) are the one two Indians to have gained the celebrated occasion, Nath (1947) and girls’s singles participant Saina Nehwal (2015) had misplaced within the final.

In the summit conflict on Sunday, Sen will face prime seed and reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark who defeated Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-13, 21-15.

“I was definitely nervous but I was just trying to play one point at a time and not the occasion,” mentioned Sen.

“Towards the tip, I used to be simply attempting to not take into consideration the issues that was going round, it was an All England semifinal and the ideas had been coming in however I used to be attempting to maintain myself focussed.

“I am happy that I won the match and I get to play tomorrow. I will take this time to recover and go all out tomorrow.”

Sen has been in sensational type within the final six months. He secured his maiden world championships bronze in December, earlier than profitable his first Super 500 title at India Open in January and ending runner-up on the German Open final week.

Sen, who had defeated Lee the final time they confronted in a global match six years in the past on the India International Series, confirmed nice tactical acumen, athleticism and psychological fortitude as he recovered from a mid-game droop to script historical past on the prestigious match.

“I think in the first game, I got a good length. I was playing well at the nets and lifts were going really good but I made lot many errors in the second game and he got a lead in the beginning and it was hard to recover from there,” mentioned the world No 11.

“Going within the third recreation, I attempted to play protected on the web moderately than going too shut and on the identical time getting size.

“In the final few points, strategy was completely different because he is one of the best attacking players in the world and when there is lot of pressure you have to go all out and keep the attack. I knew in my head I can’t play loose.”

In the opening recreation, Sen confirmed nice defensive expertise and moved effectively within the courtroom to eke out an 11-7 benefit on the interval.

Lee managed to unleash a few his trademark smashes to slender it down to 10-12. Sen stayed within the lengthy rallies and waited for his opponent to wilt, main 13-11.

Sen stayed composed and his tactical play earned dividends as Lee fell right into a heap of unforced errors to enable the lead to the Indian at 17-12.

A web error from Lee was adopted by a determined return which went vast. Sen gathered two extra factors earlier than grabbing seven recreation factors when Lee erred once more and the Indian sealed it within the first probability to take a 1-0 lead within the match.

After the change of sides, Lee stepped up his tempo and shortly took a 9-2 lead. He combined his photographs effectively and likewise confirmed nice reflex to outshine a combating Sen.

The Indian smashed one out to enable Lee seize an enormous 11-3 benefit on the break. The Malaysian was on fireplace after the breather as he unleashed a sequence of winners to zoom to 16-5 and ultimately roared again into the competition after profitable one other thrilling rally.

The duo continued to play at a frantic tempo within the decider with Sen managing a 3-1 lead early on however Lee shortly unleashed a backhand cross-court return to degree the scores.

Lee appeared a step forward in his tempo and gained a 67-shot rally subsequent with Sen struggling in the back of his courtroom.

A 372 km/per hour backhand smash gave one other level to the Malaysian, who led 7-5 at one stage.

A relaxed Sen drew parity at 8-8 with Lee going lengthy. A physique return gave the Indian one other level however Lee managed to seize a two-point lead on the interval.

Playing with the drift now, Sen marginally erred in his lifts which went lengthy and Lee was fast to transfer to 14-10.

A combating Sen managed to slender it down to 16-17 after which got here up with a cross-court smash to quickly seize two match factors. Lee saved one earlier than the Indian sealed it.

Considered a baby prodigy, Sen is now only a step away from emulating his mentor Prakash Padukone.

“…all those time when people used to say .. that gave me belief that I can do it and it kept me going and tomorrow I am playing the finals,” he mentioned.

Indian girls’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand misplaced their semi-finals match 21-17, 21-16 to the Chinese pair of Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu.

Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu will face Japanese duo Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida within the girls’s doubles final. Matsuyama and Shida beat Jeong Na-eun and Kim Hye-jeong 21-8, 21-12 within the semi-finals.

World primary Tai Tzu-ying was shocked by South Korea’s An Se-young 21-19, 21-13 within the girls’s semi-finals.

Tai, a three-time All England winner, was soundly crushed in simply 40 minutes by the world quantity 4.

An will face Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in Sunday’s final after she edged Chinese third seed Chen Yu Fei 21-11, 21-13.

There will probably be an all-Indonesian males’s doubles final as two-time champions and primary seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo had been crushed by compatriots Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana 22-20, 13-21, 21-16.

“We thought it was over in the second game the way they were playing, but we managed to overcome that phase,” mentioned Maulana.

“We are shocked that we are in the final and so happy.”

Number two seeds Mohamed Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan additionally wanted three units to e book their place within the final with a 21-16, 14-21, 21-13 win over Chinese duo He Ji Ting and Tan Qiang.

With PTI and AFP inputs

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