All England Open 2022: Lakhya Sen defeats Lee Zii Jia to enter final

India’s Lakshya Sen stunned Lee Zii Jia 21-13, 12-21, 21-19 in an hour and 16 minutes to enter his maiden final at the prestigious event.

Lakshya Sen enters the final of All England open 2022; Credit: Twitter/@Media_SAI

India’s Lakshya Sen stunned Lee Zii Jia 21-13, 12-21, 21-19 in three games to enter his maiden final at All England Open Championships. The World championship bronze medalist showed nerves of steel as he got the better of the defending champion from Malaysia on Saturday. The 20-year-old became only the fourth Indian men’s singles player after Prakash Nath, Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand to reach the final in England after a grueling encounter that lasted an hour and 16 minutes.

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While Padukone (1980) and Gopichand (2001) are the only two Indians to have won the prestigious event, Nath (1947) and women’s singles player Saina Nehwal (2015) had lost in the final.  Nehwal was the first and only Indian women to make it so far in the tournament. She lost to Spanish star Carolina Marin in the title decider.

Sen will face the winner of the tie between first seed Victor Axelsen and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-Chen in the final. The promising Indian has been in sensational form in the last six months. He secured his maiden world championship bronze medal in December, before winning the first Super 500 title at India open in January and then finished runners-up at the German Open last week. 

“I was definitely nervous but I was just trying to play one point at a time and not the occasion,” said Sen, according to a Times Of India report.

“Towards the end, I was just trying to not think about the things that was going around, it was an All England semifinal and the thoughts were coming in but I was trying to keep 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.

“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 a lot many errors in the second game and he got a lead in the beginning and it was hard to recover from there,” said the world no 11.

Sen, who had defeated Lee the last time they faced in an international event six years ago at the India international series, showed fighting spirit and tactical brilliance to recover from a mid-game slump and script history. 

“Going in the third game, I tried to play safe at the net rather than going too close and at the same time getting a good length.

“In the final few points, strategy was completely different because he is one of the best attacking player 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 lose.”



WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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