Dutch Junior Open Badminton: Top seed Lakshya Sen reaches semi-finals
Teen badminton sensation Lakshya Sen keeps on impressing as the 15-year-old made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 Dutch Junior Open at Haarlem, Netherlands on Saturday. Sen, who climbed to the pinnacle of the junior world rankings in February, convincingly beat unseeded Japanese shuttler Takuma Obayashi, 21-18, 21-15 in the quarter-finals of this prestigious Junior International Grand Prix event.
He will next take on the 12th seed Chen Chi Ting of Chinese Taipei for a place in the summit clash.
The fast-rising Sen has been making quite an impact for the past few weeks. The Almora-born youngster has been training at the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bangalore since the age of 10 and this year he has made his mark at the senior level too.
At the Indian Senior Nationals held last month, he went on an upset-making spree before going down to Sourabh Verma in the final. He has continued from there at this week’s Dutch Open and has not conceded any game in the four matches that he has played so far.
His recent exploits have earned plaudits from all corners including his mentor Padukone, who told the ESPN, “Lakshya is a naturally gifted player and is quick to grasp the finer points of the game.”
Garaga and Kapila make their mark in men’s doubles
Lakshya is not the only Indian rampaging through the draw. India’s top-seeded men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila has been in equally immaculate form and has entered the semi-finals.
They stormed back after losing the first game to notch up an 18-21, 21-14, 21-18 win over the unseeded Danish combine of Sebastian Grønbjerg and Daniel Lundgaard in the last-eight clash.
Kapila’s great run in mixed doubles, meanwhile, ended in the fourth round where he and Mithula UK lost 23-25, 15-21 to the fifth-seeded Malaysians Eng Cheong Ng and Ee Wei Toh.
India’s 16th seeded Ira Sharma could not emulate Sen in the women’s singles section and succumbed to an 8-21, 12-21 defeat to Hirari Mizui of Japan in the quarter-finals. She had earlier got the better of her compatriot Prashi Joshi in a tough pre-quarter-final encounter where she prevailed 28-26, 21-17.