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Twitter erupts as Kidambi Srikanth beats Lakshya Sen in a thriller to enter final of BWF World Championships

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

Kidambi Srikanth created history at the BWF World Championships in Huelva, Spain, on Saturday as he became the first Indian ever to reach the men's singles final of this prestigious event.

In a riveting all-Indian semifinal, the 12th seed got the better of the 20-year-old Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 in 69 minutes to etch his name in the annals of India's sporting history.

India has four men's singles medals from the BWF World Championships. While Prakash Padukone (1983) and Sai Praneeth (2019) each have a bronze, this is the first time an Indian shuttler will be fighting for the trophy in this discipline.

On Sunday, Srikanth will face the winner of the second semifinal between third seed Anders Antonsen and World No. 22 Loh Kean Yew.

Srikanth began the highly-anticipated all-Indian match on the backfoot. Looking nervous for nearly one-and-a-half games, the former World No. 1 trailed Sen 17-21, 4-8.

The Guntur-born ace finally rediscovered his rhythm midway through the second game to inch ahead to 11-9 at half-time. Having freed up, the 28-year-old found his shots to clinch the second game 21-14 and set up a decider.

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

The third game was once again tightly-contested as the former Asian junior champion Sen kept putting pressure on his older compatriot in the initial stages. Sen held a brief lead of 11-8 but Srikanth was always close on his heels.

Riding on his brilliant attacking game and fabulous anticipation skills, the Pullela Gopichand protégé gradually started clawing his way back. Both players looked visibly tired towards the end of the engaging decider, yet pushed on.

Srikanth went ahead for the first time at 16-15 as his experience of playing on the biggest stages showed. Sen kept fighting but couldn't prevent the march of the World No. 14 into the final.

Twitter lauds both Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen after a memorable match

Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen's mesmerizing match had the entire social media gushing over the two. The warm embrace the two shared at the end of the enthralling duel also had Twitterati talking.

Here are some of the best tweets:

What a MATCH! Kidambi Srikanth creates history; becomes 1st ever Indian male shuttler to enter Final of World Championships by beating younger compatriot Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 in a cliff-hanger. https://t.co/XflmtF4tMs
Absolute proud of the effort put in by 20 yr old Lakshya to win Bronze medal in his maiden World Championship. Only 3 other Indian male shuttlers (including Srikanth) have won World Championship medal so far. More power to you Lakshya. https://t.co/0fldZ2dq63
What a match .. @srikidambi @lakshya_sen . 🇮🇳 👏👏
What a match ! @srikidambi @lakshya_sen what an absolute MS treat !
There's a very famous quote in Indian badminton, incidentally from another World Championships four years ago: "Mera petrol khatam ho gaya dekhte dekhte". #LakshyaSen vs #KidambiSrikanth was that sort of a game. #BWFWorldChampionships2021 https://t.co/OQUsFDUCOd
What a moment at the end. Two wonderful frames. ❤️#BWC2021 #Huelva2021 https://t.co/LtF9HONRpM
What a match! Two warriors who gave it their everything on the court. Badminton won. India won. Congrats ⁦@srikidambi⁩ and well fought ⁦@lakshya_sen⁩. You guys have made India proud https://t.co/IUH97nzeSr
At least in my memory, that's got to be the finest badminton match I've seen between two Indian players. Highlights package gonna have a tough time with this one.
The king, who had fallen asleep for the last 2-3 years, has woken up and shown that he is still the king!!! The prince is also ready though, ready to snatch the throne!!Hoping this is the start of an epic rivalry...What a MATCH!!! And that hug at the end..😍#Huelva2021
WHAT A MATCH!Kidambi Srikanth into #BWFWorldChampionships final after a 3-game battle with Lakshya SenWhat a storyline for Indian badminton!A former world No 1, a promising youngsterForm a poor Olympics cycle to3 quarterfinalists2 Worlds medal1 stunning all-Indian SF
SRIKANT INTO THE FINALS! ⚡️A come from behind win for @srikidambi as he gets past compatriot @lakshya_sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 in the Semifinals of the #BWFWorldChampionships2021. 👏Well played, champs! 💯#BetterEveryday 🇮🇳 #Badminton 🏸 https://t.co/xqCnhebA0d
What an advertisement for Indian badminton. #srikanth #sen
Srikanth wins this astounding match. Crackerjack.Well done Srikanth. If he doesn't lose focus, this Sen will make a few of his opponents scratch their heads in the future. He can be proud of the way he played.
heck of a contest, srikanth edging it in the end to make the final but lakshay sen is such a terrific player. the hug between the two at the end was lovely! #BWFWorldChampionships2021

Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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