Lakshya Sen’s dream run on the All England Championships ended with a heartbreaking straight-game loss towards world primary and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen within the males’s singles closing on Sunday, persevering with India’s 21-year-long agonising look ahead to the coveted trophy.
After 4 days of sensational badminton, the 20-year-old Sen faltered on the cusp of historical past as he dedicated too many errors to go down 10-21 15-21 to former champion Axelsen in a lop-sided summit conflict that lasted 53 minutes on the Barclaycard Enviornment.
“I thnk the technique was there. I performed him final week however in the present day he was trying stable in assault and defence as effectively. He was actually affected person and performed a very good recreation,” Sen mentioned after the match.
“Within the opening recreation, I dedicated a variety of errors, that value me the sport. I used to be there within the second recreation however once more he was too stable for me to place the shuttle down.”
On Saturday, Sen had develop into solely the fifth Indian after Prakash Nath (1947), Prakash Padukone (1980, 1981), Pullela Gopichand (2001) and Saina Nehwal (2015) to succeed in the ultimate of the distinguished event after outwitting defending champion Lee Zii Jia in a gruelling semifinal.
Every week again, Sen had recorded his first win over former world champion Axelsen en path to his closing look on the German Open however he couldn’t maintain his craft on Sunday as his highly-fancied rival returned the favours, claiming his fifth general win towards the Indian.
“There was a variety of strain earlier than the match however once I was on courtroom it was simply one other match for me. I performed actually essential match yesterday and that gave me confidence however credit score to him for taking part in an ideal recreation.”
Whereas 2020 winner Axelsen claimed the lads’s singles title for the second time, Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi gained the ladies’s singles crown, beating South Korea’s An Seyoung 21-15 21-15 within the closing.
Sen couldn’t mount his assault and trailed early on with Axelsen galloping to a 6-0 lead with the assistance of some exact smashes on the traces.
An aggressive return of serve helped Sen break the run of play however he couldn’t discover openings as Axelsen saved the Indian away from the online, holding him on the baseline together with his returns.
A protracted 61-shot rally ended with Axelsen punishing Sen for his weak raise because the Dane grabbed an enormous 11-2 lead on the mid recreation interval with a flick.
A few unforced errors from Axelsen gave Sen two factors and the Indian unleashed a cross-court smash to make it 5-13, a spot which proved too massive to bridge because the Dane held 11 game-point alternatives with a smash.
Sen saved one earlier than he despatched the following large to offer a 1-0 result in Axelsen.
After the change of sides, Sen tried to have interaction his rival in energy-sapping rallies however he didn’t get the size proper and allowed the Dane to take 4-2 lead.
Sen managed to cut back it to 5-6 however Axelsen used his peak and attain to provide some highly effective smashes to make it 8-4.
The Dane continued to place the younger Indian beneath strain together with his angles, size and precision to get to a decisive 11-5 benefit on the interval.
Sen couldn’t discover a approach to breach the defence of his fancied rival, who seemed in full management.
Trailing 10-17, Sen tried to have interaction his rival in lengthy rallies. The Indian gained a 70-shot rally after Axelsen made a incorrect judgement at baseline. Nonetheless, it was quickly eight match level alternatives for Axelsen with Sen going to the online.
The Indian saved three match factors earlier than sending the shuttle to the online as Axelsen celebrated.
Regardless of the loss, it has been a creditable efficiency for Sen, who remains to be in his early days in elite-level badminton.
“For the reason that pandemic occurred, I’ve performed actually good badminton. I’ve to maintain enjoying constantly on the high stage and now I do know what it’s wish to be enjoying within the massive circuit. Each match is essential and I’ve to be ready and it offers me a variety of confidence,” Sen mentioned.
A product of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru, Sen has been in sensational kind within the final six months.
He secured his maiden world championships bronze in December final, earlier than successful his first Tremendous 500 title at India Open in January and ending runner-up on the German Open final week.
Requested about his upcoming occasions, Sen mentioned he’ll play the Swiss Open and Korea Open subsequent.