Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen avenged his 2017 Tata Open final defeat in style by knocking out the second seed Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand in the third round of the Indonesia Masters 2018 in Pangkalpinang, Indonesia on Thursday. The 17-year-old needed 46 minutes to pull off a 21-19, 21-15 win over the Thai shuttler, who is placed 61 places above the 112th ranked Sen in the BWF World Rankings.
Sen has not dropped a game so far in his three matches at this Super 100 tournament. He started his challenge with a 21-17, 21-14 win over Indonesia’s Alberto Alvin Yulianto and then followed it up with a 21-14, 21-19 capitulation of Handoko Yusuf Wijayanto.
In the third round, he faced the same player who had denied him the title at the Tata Open in December. The Indian teenager had the upper hand in that match, winning the first game and ran close in the decider only to see the Thai eking out the win in the end.
After this massive win, the youngster faces yet another seed -- seventh seed Lin Yu Hsien -- for a place in the semi-finals.
Sen has been improving by leaps and bounds for more than a year, with his biggest achievement this year being the title win at the Asian Junior Championships that came through an upset victory over the top seed in the final.
He will hope to repeat those heroics as he goes deeper at the Indonesia Masters this week.
Sen is the only Indian standing at this tournament after the 14-21, 8-21 defeat of the women's singles eighth seed Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli to Japan’s Saya Yamamoto in the second round.
Gurusaidutt advances in Sydney
A host of Indians advanced to the second round as the first round action wrapped up at the Sydney International 2018, an International Series tournament, on Thursday. Among those winning were fifth seed RMV Gurusaidutt, seventh seed Shreyansh Jaiswal, 15th seed Siddharath Thakur, and 16th seed Sahil Sipani.
In mixed doubles, the top seeds Saurabh Sharma-Anoushka Parikh and the seventh seeds Utkarsh Arora-Karishma Wadkar made it to Round 2.