BWF World Championships 2021, Kidambi Srikanth vs Lakshya Sen: Where to watch, TV schedule, live stream details, and more

Kidambi Srikanth in action at the 2019 Indonesia Open
Kidambi Srikanth in action at the 2019 Indonesia Open
Sudeshna Banerjee

In a historic feat, India will have two shuttlers fighting for a place in the men's singles final of the BWF World Championships as 12th seed Kidambi Srikanth takes on Lakshya Sen in Huelva, Spain, on Saturday.

While PV Sindhu has been a world champion in women's singles, India has never had any player reaching the summit clash in men's singles in the history of the BWF World Championships.

Out of the 12 medals the country has won at the BWF World Championships, just four have so far come in this discipline. Following Prakash Padukone's bronze medal win in 1983, it took another 36 years for the nation to claim its second men's singles medal when Sai Praneeth won bronze in 2019.

This year, India has gone a step further with two men's singles shuttlers assuring a podium finish with remarkable performances in Huelva. Now, with the two facing off in the semifinals on Saturday, it will be a battle of two generations of Indian badminton that fans will be eager to witness.

Srikanth & Lakshya joined the elite list ๐Ÿ”ฅ@srikidambi became the only 3rd ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ MS shuttler while @lakshya_sen joins as the 4th and youngest Male shuttler to add a medal to his name at the #WorldChampionships ๐Ÿ˜Žโšก#BWFWorldChampionships2021#IndiaontheRise#Badminton

Srikanth's resurgence is indeed heartening. The 28-year-old once dominated the Superseries circuit and even climbed to the pinnacle of the world rankings. His incredible haul of four Superseries titles in 2017 will forever remain one of the greatest achievements of Indian badminton.

The Guntur-born ace, who would once send a chill down his opponents' spine with his breathtaking attacking display, went on to lose his way in the next few years. Injuries and a loss of confidence seemingly robbed him of his sharpness. Srikanth became a pale shadow of his former self and went on to suffer heartbreak against multiple lower-ranked players over the next couple of years.

This year, Srikanth has finally begun to show flashes of his brilliance. Happier and healthier than ever, the World No. 14 has been getting better with each match. Having made the semifinals at the Hylo Open and the Indonesia Masters, the Pullela Gopichand protรฉgรฉ's perseverance has now been rewarded with his first-ever medal at the BWF World Championships.

He has dropped just a solitary game in four matches this week, with his latest win being a 21-8, 21-7 demolition of World No. 28 Mark Caljouw in the quarterfinals.

Lakshya Sen in action at the Premier Badminton League (Image courtesy: PBL)
Lakshya Sen in action at the Premier Badminton League (Image courtesy: PBL)

Up next for Srikanth is his young compatriot, Lakshya Sen. The 20-year-old, a former Asian junior champion and a junior World No. 1, has made a stupendous transition into the senior circuit.

This year he has truly established himself as a top contender for titles with his consistently-brilliant showings. Sen finished as the runner-up at the Dutch Open and made the semifinals of the BWF World Tour Finals on debut. Among other highlights was a run to the quarterfinals of the All England Open.

The youngster, very much the leader of the next generation of Indian badminton, has now taken it up a notch at the BWF World Championships by ensuring a medal on his debut.

He upset 15th seed Kenta Nishimoto in three games in his first match of the event. After a breezy third round, Sen ran into World No. 42 Zhao Jun Peng in the last eight of the BWF World Championships. In a titanic tussle that saw plenty of shifts in momentum, Sen held his nerve to save a match point on his way to a fabulous 21-15, 15-21, 22-20 win over the Chinese.

Just thrilling! Lakshya Sen ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ turns the match around and is through to an all-Indian semifinal against Kidambi Srikanth.Follow live action: #Huelva2021

The World No. 19 will need to bring out that same gutsy play when he faces his elder compatriot on Saturday. The two have never locked horns on the international tour but have faced each other at the domestic level. Srikanth's 21-16, 21-18 win over Sen at the 2017 Senior National Badminton Championships is one of the standout results from their meetings.

Times have changed and the young Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy student has now come a long way since that meeting. Sen now has the tenacity to last the distance and has developed a keen sense of judgment about when to pull the trigger.

Sen will surely look to put Srikanth in a spot of bother in their BWF World Championships semi-final clash. But with the older Indian looking sharp and believing in himself once again, he just might be too hot to handle for the 20-year-old.

BWF World Championships 2021: Match details

Fixture: (12) Kidambi Srikanth vs Lakshya Sen.

Head-to-head: Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen have never squared off on the tour before, so their head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.

Date: December 18, 2021.

Time: Approx 5.45 pm local time, 10.15 pm IST.

Tournament: TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021.

Round: Semifinals.

Venue: Huelva, Spain.

Category: Grade 1 - Individual Tournaments.

BWF World Championships 2021: TV schedule

The BWF World Championships 2021 is being telecast live on the Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 2 HD TV channels in India.

BWF World Championships 2021: Live streaming details

The BWF World Championships 2021 can be live-streamed on the Disney+Hotstar app.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra


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