2022 Commonwealth Games: Lakshya Sen beats Ng Tze Yong to win first major badminton men's singles title

The Indian came from behind to prevail 19-21, 21-9, 21-16 against Ng in a thrilling final at Birmingham's NEC.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Lakshya Sen landed his first major badminton men's singles title with a thrilling come-from-behind victory against Ng Tze Yong at the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Monday [8 August].

India's second seed beat Malaysian Ng 19-21, 21-9, 21-16 in front of a packed show court at Birmingham's NEC.

The match started at a frantic pace, with the contrasting styles of Ng’s powerplay and Sen’s deft touches clear from the off.

Hundreds of raucous fans roared each shot from their man to create a caldron-like atmosphere.

The lead exchanged hands at regular intervals until a critical mistake from Sen - who left a good shot from Ng thinking it would go out - gave the Malaysian a 1-0 lead.

But Sen refused to lie down.

With Ng seemingly tiring, the 2018 Youth Olympic champion took full advantage of some unforced errors to even the match with a comfortable second game victory.

The third game was another rollercoaster ride, with most rallies worthy of their own highlight reel.

Eventually, Sen was able to build a five-point buffer at 20-15 that seemed to break Ng’s spirit, and after one more superb overhead smash, the title was his.

The victory will taste especially sweet for the huge groups of Indian fans present, after Malaysia beat India to mixed team gold last week.

"It's a dream come true, and I feel happy with the way I played today. I was not putting pressure on myself – I always took one match at a time – but I did have that belief that I could go all of the way," Sen said after.

"There was a big change in the shuttle. I think I kept a good length from the other end of the court from where I started, and in the second game I was in control. Then I got a three-point lead in the third and it turned out to be enough.

"Credit to him as well, because he played a really good game."

READ MORE: Lakshya Sen, the new poster boy of Indian badminton

READ MORE: Ng Tze Yong: Walking in Lee Chong Wei and Lee Zii Jia's footsteps

Ng Tze Yong surpasses all expectations

It's been an fantastic first Commonwealth Games for Ng.

When Malaysia's first-choice men's singles player Lee Zii Jia pulled out, the Asian powerhouse's hopes for a badminton title seemed to be dashed.

But the 22-year-old stepped up in style, only dropped one set en route to Malaysia winning mixed team gold.

He then went on to seal memorable singles victories against world champion Loh Kean Yew and a second win of the event over Kidambi Srikanth.

"I feel very happy to get a medal for my country. I'm very proud because it's my first Commonwealth Games, I just hope this form can continue," he said after winning men's singles silver.

"I need to thank all the Malaysian fans, they have supported me all week."

With the Paris 2024 Olympics only two years away, there is certainly now a question mark over who is Malaysia's best men's badminton player.

How to watch badminton at 2022 Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games will be broadcast live in many parts of the world.

UK: BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and BBC website.

Canada: CBC Sports, CBC Sports app

Australia: Channel 7, 7Plus

New Zealand: Sky, TVNZ

India: Sony LIV

Singapore: Mediacorp's free-to-air Channel 5, meWATCH, and YouTube.

Malaysia: RTM

Further TV broadcast and digital live streaming details can be found on the Commonwealth Games website here.

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