Indian Badminton star Lakshya Sen won the Canada Open 2023 by defeating Li Shi Feng from China, who is also the All England Champion. Lakshya defeated the Chinese player 21-18 and 22-20 in straight games in the final in Calgary on Sunday.
“Coming into the Olympic qualification year, it was tough as things didn’t go my way. So this win will be a big boost to my confidence,” Sen told PTI after the win. “I had to dig deep in some matches, the conditions were different and getting used to it was important,” the ace shuttler added.
The duo played some fabulous rallies with some fast-paced exchanges at the end, but in the end, it was Sen who kept things tight and won his fifth meeting out of seven against the Chinese. Sen, who won bronze in the 2021 World Championship had to go through a surgery for a deviated septum and his recovery post-operation took a lot of time.
The duo played a high-speed game with both playing some eye-catching jump smashes. While Li sent down two 390kmph smashes, Sen unleashed a couple of 400 kmph thunderbolts. At the mid-game interval, Sen managed to hold a three-point cushion after Li failed to negotiate a body return from the Indian.
Unforced errors saw Li fall back at 12-15, however, he managed to level par at 15-15 but Sen managed to grab three game points with his trademark straight smash. Another precise return on his opponent’s forehand helped him to earn the bragging rights. The Chinese waited patiently for his opportunity, engaging Sen in some sensational rallies at the net and pounced on anything weak from the Indian.
With Li winning the net battle, Sen tried to change his tactics and made it 13-14 at one stage. But the Chinese managed to grab four game points with a powerful return which Sen miscued. However, Sen showed determination as a forehand body smash was followed by another hard smash. Li then failed at the net and Sen followed it with another smash to level the score. Another rally ended with a precise return on Li’s forehand as it was advantage Sen and he sealed it with another power-packed smash in the end.
On the other hand, PV Sindhu had a tough outing against World No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi and went down in straight games (14-21, 15-21) in the women’s singles semi-final clash.