Injury-free Lakshya Sen ready for SaarLorLux challenge

Defending champion Sen had a minor back injury after returning to action in Denmark but is now fully fit and aiming for a third Super 100 title.

By Rahul Venkat

Indian teenager Lakshya Sen is looking ahead to a new challenge in his fledgling senior badminton career – that of defending his title at the SaarLorLux Open in Saarbrucken, Germany.

The rising badminton player won two BWF Super 100 titles in his first year on the senior circuit in 2019, the second of which came at the SaarLorLux Open. This time, Sen is seeded second and has been given a bye in the opening round.

The 19-year-old Lakshya Sen had looked impressive in his return to competitive action on the BWF World Tour’s Denmark Open two weeks back, where he lost in the second round.

“I am ready and looking forward to a better finish than the previous tournament (Denmark Open),” Lakshya Sen told The Times of India. “I never take it easy, but I hope to play well and enjoy it. The field is quite competitive.”

While the Denmark Open performance served as a good reminder of Sen’s talent, there was a slight injury concern after his emphatic first-round win at the BWF World Tour event.

“Lakshya had some pain in his lower back after the first round and we had strapped him up,” said two-time national champion U Vimal Kumar, who is Sen’s coach at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru.

“We were concerned about it and even contacted doctors in Mumbai. But thankfully, an MRI scan ruled out any major injury. He has recovered completely now.”

Lakshya Sen has been preparing for his title defence by training at the Peter Gade Academy in Denmark and also played a match for Danish club Aarhus over the weekend.

Sen will be joined by three other Indian badminton players at the SaarLorLux Open – fellow teenager Malvika Bansod and veterans Ajay Jayaram and 2018 SaarLorLux Open winner Subhankar Dey.