Lakshya Sen loses to Kunlavut Vitidsarn in Thailand Open badminton semis

By, New Delhi
Jun 03, 2023 08:20 PM IST

The Indian began brightly to win the first game, but lapsed into errors against a familiar foe as the Thai player won the semi-final in three games

The Indian challenge at the $420,000 Thailand Open badminton ended on Saturday as Lakshya Sen lost a tough men’s singles semi-final battle to local player Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

India's Lakshya Sen (AP)
India's Lakshya Sen (AP)

Playing his first semi-final since winning the Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham last year, Sen lost 21-13, 17-21, 13-21 in an hour and 15 minutes in Bangkok. This was Sen’s fourth loss in eight outings against the Thai, who was backed by a vociferous crowd.

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At the Indoor Stadium Huamark, Sen started in solid fashion, leading from the start to silence the partisan crowd. He looked an entirely different player from how he has looked all year, playing a brilliant attacking game with fantastic smashes and exquisite backhand to take a 11-6 lead by the mid-game interval. He continued his flurry of smashes forcing Vitidsarn to commit errors as he easily clinched the opening game.

In the second game, the Thai second seed played according to the situation and was much more cautious, waiting for mistakes to happen across the net. There was little to separate the two as the second game remained a tight affair till 17-all. But world No.5 Vitidsarn showed great awareness, peppering Sen with stinging smashes to win four straight points, pushing the match into the decider.

Sen looked in control of the decider as he led 10-6 but some brilliant deceptive shots from Vitidsarn, who reached the final of the World Championships last year, helped him level the contest at 11-all. While the Thai found a spring in his step, Sen committed a barrage of errors and the game, and contest, completely shifted in favour of the local star.

Though he lost, Sen, the world No. 23, enjoyed a solid week in the Super 500 tournament after a run of early exits this year.

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