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China Masters 2019: Lakshya Sen enters semi-finals with upset win over fourth seed

Shruti Sinha
455   //    16 Mar 2019, 19:20 IST

Lakshya Sen
Lakshya Sen

Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen put up a grand display of his fighting spirit when he ousted the fourth seed Zhou Zeqi to enter the semi-finals of the $75,000 Lingshui China Masters 2019 in Lingshui, China on Friday. The 17-year-old needed 61 minutes to come back from a game down and edge the Chinese player 16-21, 21-15, 21-19.

The 21-year-old Zeqi has been one of the promising talents to come out of the Chinese powerhouse in recent times. Last year he proved that by reaching the finals at the Australian Open and the Macau Open.

Considering the fact that Zeqi is now perched at a career-high ranking of 42 and Sen is 62 rungs below at 104, it was indeed a confidence-boosting win for the young Indian. The Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy product will now try to reach his first BWF final of the season when he takes on local hope Weng Hongyang, ranked 258th in the current BWF world rankings.

The prodigious Lakshya has been on a roll in this World Super 100 tournament this week. After receiving a bye in the first round, the Indian posted an effortless 21-12, 21-13 win over Singapore’s World No. 61 Loh Kean Yew, who began the season by stunning Lin Dan on his way to the Thailand Masters title.

In the third round, he took care of Korea’s World No. 217 Ha Young Woong 21-14, 21-15 to enter the quarter-finals.

After a successful season in juniors last year, Sen is focussing on the senior circuit this year. The former junior World No. 1 won the prestigious Asian Junior Championships, besides a silver medal at the Youth Olympics and a bronze at the World Junior Championships.

He ended 2018 with the Tata Open India International Challenge. Even though he suffered a first round exit at the Barcelona Masters to start the 2019 season, he has rebounded well in China this week.