India Open 2022 | Lakshya Sen in the final, will face Loh Kean Yew in a summit clash

World Championship bronze medalist Lakshya Sen overcame a tough challenge from Malaysia’s Tze Yong Ng 19-21, 21-16, 21-12 in the semi-finals of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2022, part of the HSBC tournament BWF World Tour series, Saturday. He will now face Loh Kean Yew in the final.

The hard-earned victory in one hour and seven minutes in his first appearance at the Yonex Sunrise India Open also secured him his first final at the Super 500 level or above on the BWF Tour. He will now face world champion Loh Kean Yew in the summit clash. The Singaporean received an upset in the semis after Canadian Brian Yang pulled out with a sore throat and headache.

Third seed Sen was the overwhelming favorite against world No. 60 Ng, but if an easy exit was expected, the big Malaysian was in a different mood. Both players started the match with quick exchanges, with the point guard changing hands at regular intervals.

Sen then opened up a 14-10 lead before a series of errors allowed Ng to pull off a comeback. The Malaysian won seven straight points to regain the lead and even though the home favorite managed to level the scores at 17-17, the momentum definitely worked in his favour.

Ng started the second game with the same pace and opened a 4-1 lead before Sen’s strong defense dug out of a hole and found a winner on the next move. The point probably gave the Indian the required self-confidence and he started to assert himself much more.

The 20-year-old started to mix things up, playing softer drops to open up the court and have the opportunity to hit winners with his cross smashes. Ng managed to keep pace with the Indian until the mid-game interval but Sen was in complete control afterwards as he forced a decider.

Sen wasn’t going to let the momentum slip away as he understood that NG wasn’t really comfortable with his throwing routine. The Malaysian tried to extend the rallies and keep the shuttle in play but it wasn’t enough as the Indian was able to find a way to hit the winners. With his opponent a little tired, Sen picked up five straight points to end Ng’s resistance and reach his first Super 500 final.

“The first game was very quick and he managed to earn a few tight points at the end to win it. I stuck to my game plan in the next two games and it worked out well for me,” he said. Speaking about the final, Sen said, “It’s a good feeling to play my first Super 500 final at home. Fans are not allowed this time but there were a few people in the stadium supporting me and it felt good.

Sunday’s final between Loh and Sen would be their fourth meeting this year, with the world champion winning two of the previous three matches. Their overall head-to-head record is 2-2. Speaking about the final against Loh, Sen said he was confident of a good game.

In the day’s other matches, seeded men’s doubles Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan beat Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 21-15, 21-18 to reach the final. India’s only semi-finalists in the women’s doubles category, Haritha MH and Ashna Roy lost 21-12, 21-9 to fourth seeds Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard of Thailand.

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