PBL 2018: Carolina Marin and Lakshya Sen shine as Pune 7 Aces lose to Awadhe Warriors
Carolina Marin and her team didn't have the kind of start in this tournament that everyone had expected. She lost her first match of the tournament to India's very own PV Sindhu, also her team didn't prove to be of any match for the Sindhu-led Hyderabad Hunters as Pune 7 Aces lost its first tie 6-(-1).
Pune 7 Aces tried to turn things around this time but the team's efforts didn't prove too strong as Awadhe Warriors won 4-3.
The first match of the tie featured Son Wan Ho up against Brice Leverdez. Awadhe Warriors put its trump card on this match. Icon player of Awadhe Warriors, Son Wan didn't disappoint at all as he won the match 15-14, 15-7. With this win, Awadhe Warriors took a 2-0 lead over Pune 7 Aces.
This winning momentum of Awadhe Warriors stayed alive in the second match as well, as the men's doubles duo of Mathias Christiansen (from Denmark) and Yang Lee from Taiwan) defeated the experienced duo of Mathias Boe (from Denmark) and Vladimir Ivanov (from Russia) 15-14, 15-12.
The third match of the tie featured Carolina Marin up against Beiwen Zhang. Both these players had a great run in 2018.
Carolina became the only female player in history to win three World Championships gold medals along with three other titles in 2018.
On the other hand, Beiwen Zhang won her maiden World Tour title in 2018 by winning the India Open Super 500 tournament. She also became the first player from the USA to qualify for the BWF World Tour Finals.
The head-to-head record between these players is tied at 2-2 on the BWF circuit. But today Marin proved too strong for Zhang as she won the match 15-13, 15-9. Pune 7 Aces had placed its trump card on this match. And with this win, it registered itself on the scoreboard, trailing 2-3.
The fourth match of the tie featured the 17-year-old and world no. 109 Lakshya Sen up against veteran Lee Dong Keun of Korea.
Lakshya had suffered a narrow defeat in his first match of the tournament against Mark Caljouw. But he learned from his mistakes in the first match as he stunned world no.27 Lee Dong 15-11, 15-8. Lakshya had recently won the Tata Open India International Tournament 2018. Win this win, the teams were tied at 3-3.
The fifth and the deciding match of the tie featured Vladimir Ivanov and Line Kjaersfeldt up against Ashwini Ponnappa and Mathias Christiansen. Despite stiff competition from Ivanov and Line, Ashwini and Mathias won the match 15-9, 12-15, 15-13. With this, Pune 7 Aces lost its second consecutive tie as Awadhe Warriors won 4-3.
The PBL action now shifts to Hyderabad from Tuesday. Matches will be held in Gachibowli Indoor stadium till December 28.
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 20:35 IST