Indian youngster Lakshya Sen won his first match at the Denmark Open 2020 in a Round of 32 clash against France' Christo Popov with a 21-9, 21-15 scoreline, as international badminton made its official return in Odense.
Sen is part of a four-member Indian contingent who have travelled to Denmark for the BWF Super 750 tournament, which is the first competition to be held this year after the All England Championships held in March.
Lakshya Sen went into the match with a 3-1 lead in head-to-head clashes against Christo Popov, who is a medal winner from last year's World Junior Championships.
Dominant play from Lakshya Sen to win his first match
The first game of the match began with both players feeling each other out with controlled aggression as Sen attacked the net on more than a few occasions after good defensive play from the back of the court.
Popov, who is a doubles player as well, used the back court smash to his advantage but Sen continued to maintain the lead through the game. After going into the interval with a lead of 12-8, Sen turned up the ante and closed out the first game with a scoreline of 21-9.
The Frenchman came out with renewed fervor in the second set and looked very aggressive in the initial exchanges but Sen was up to the task as nothing separated the two shuttlers at 5-5 each at one point.
The tight battle between the two continued with Popov doing well at the net but Lakshya Sen held his own despite being down 8-10 and went into the interval with a close lead of 11-10.
The 19-year-old Sen took charge of proceedings after the interval and forced errors from his opponent. He used the slice shots well to drive Popov to the net and then counter with strong smashes of his own. With six match points to close out the encounter, Popov showed some fight but Sen won the game with a score of 21-15.
Lakshya Sen is set to face the winner of the match between Belgian Maxime Moreels and Danish Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in the next round.