Lakshya Sen ready to shake up badminton world

Having taken the fight to the former world champion Viktor Axelsen at the All England Open early this year, the Indian teenager is keen to carry on the good work.

By Olympic Channel Writer

The year 2020 was deemed to be the year of arrival for Indian’s fast-rising badminton star Lakshya Sen, who stepped onto the senior circuit after a glorious 2019. And the youngster didn’t disappoint either.

In the early few months of 2020, Lakshya Sen has already seen a big win against Indonesian star Jonathan Christie at the Badminton Asia Team Championships and had an impressive faceoff against Danish star Viktor Axelsen in All England Open’s second round.

However, Lakshya Sen has admitted that he could have done much better against Viktor Axelsen in the second round of the All England Open, the last competition before BWF suspended all badminton tournaments.

Lakshya Sen was the only male shuttler to make it to the second round of the prestigious tournament after both Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth faltered in the first round.

However, after successfully stretching it out against Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu in the first round, Lakshya Sen was unable to get past the former World Champion and the 2016 Olympics bronze medallist from Denmark.

Lakshya Sen lost to the eventual 2020 All England Open champion 17-21, 18-21 in a match that lasted 45 minutes, but the 19-year-old now believes he could have done better.

“I think I played well in the All England Championships,” Lakshya Sen told Mumbai Mirror.

“The first round was a good match which I won. In the second round, I lost to Viktor Axelsen. I could have done better in both the sets in the second round. Those two sets went on to get very close,” he added.

Lakshya Sen. Photo: PBL Media.

Confidence booster

The 18-year-old from Uttarakhand has impressed one and all with his scintillating performances in 2019, which he finished with five titles to his name.

After not winning a single title until as late as September 2019 Lakshya Sen’s first major trophy was the Dutch Open Super 100 event, where he edged past Japan’s Yusuke Onodera in a match that went over an hour.

The Indian youngster quickly doubled it with a consecutive title at the Saarlorlux Open and there was no stopping him thereafter. Already having the Belgian International in his bag, and he went on to win the Scottish Open and the Bangladesh International Challenge.

Lakshya Sen, however, attributes his achievement to the first two titles that gave him the boost that he needed to end 2019 on a high.

“After winning the first two tournaments, I got a lot of confidence. Then I had a good show in the remaining three tournaments.

“But till September, I did not win a single tournament so I was not much confident about my performance, but after winning those first two tournaments, I gained more confidence,” he added.

The teenager from Uttarakhand, like many other Olympic hopefuls, is now awaiting clarification from the BWF on the qualification criteria and schedule of tournaments to assess his chances to qualify for the Games.