With a host of top players withdrawing from the Denmark Open 2020, the BWF Super 750 tournament has opened up new opportunities for Indian shuttlers.
2017 champion Kidambi Srikanth and former junior Asian champion Lakshya Sen are the only two Indians out of a four-member squad to progress into the second round with Ajay Jayaram and Subhankar Dey crashing out.
For the fast-rising Lakshya Sen, his debut appearance at this prestigious event presents him a good chance to gauge his game against the veterans of the sport.
Denmark is a familiar country for the 19-year-old. This is where he spent 12 weeks last year to sharpen his game under the tutelage of former World No. 1 Morten Frost.
The Danish legend's guidance spurred Sen on to a spectacular season that saw him clinch five titles in a career-best year at the senior level.
Having spent hours in training during the long break to get back to form, the youngster has emerged hungrier, fitter and more motivated as was evident from his first round at the Denmark Open. The 27th-ranked Sen needed just 36 minutes to dismiss the challenge of World No. 77 Christo Popov 21-9, 21-15.
Exhibiting his aggression as well as some tremendous improvement in defense, Sen looked unstoppable against the rising French star. Sen's anticipation skills were on full display as he covered every inch of the court and denied his opponent any chance to settle into the match.
After nearly seven months of no action on the badminton circuit, it was definitely a huge confidence boost for the young Lakshya Sen - something he would need ahead of his second-round clash with Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus.
A former World No. 8, the Dane is an experienced campaigner, having won the 2016 Australian Open title. He even finished runner-up to Chen Long at the Dubai World Superseries Finals in 2014 and was instrumental in bringing home Denmark's first Thomas Cup trophy in 2016.
The 34-year-old has been involved in many high-pressure matches and this was reflected when he came back from a game down to edge Lakshya Sen in a thriller in their only other meeting so far.
Having being outplayed by the Indian 11-21 in the first game, the Dane stormed back to win 11-21, 21-18, 21-14 at the Malaysia Masters this year.
That experience would come in handy for the World No. 42 unless Lakshya Sen is able to produce the firepower he showed in his first match and keep unforced errors at bay.
Here is all you need to know about the Denmark Open 2020:
Tournament: Danisa Denmark Open 2020
Category: HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750
Location: Odense, Denmark
Date: October 15, 2020
Lakshya Sen match time
(5) Lakshya Sen vs Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus expected to be around 7-7:30 pm IST.
Head-to-head: Vittinghus leads 1-0
Last meeting: Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus defeated Lakshya Sen 11-21, 21-18, 21-14 in the qualifying rounds of the Malaysia Masters 2020
Where to watch the matches in India
The Denmark Open 2020 matches are being telecast live on Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 2 HD from October 13.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
The Denmark Open 2020 matches can be livestreamed on hotstar.com, BWF TV and Olympic Channel.Published 15 Oct 2020, 15:12 IST