Lakshya Sen loses All England final to World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen | Badminton News



Lakshya Sen faltered at the final hurdle of the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham on Sunday. His 10-21, 15-21 loss to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen means India’s 21-year-old jinx at this tournament continues – Pullela Gopichand was the last Indian to win the title in 2001.
It was sweet revenge for Axelsen, who had lost to his training partner Lakshya in the semifinal of the German Open last week.


Disappointed with his loss, Lakshya said, “I came with a strategy on how to play the final. But today he was solid. In the first game, I made a lot of errors. In the second game I did well but he was too good. Credit to him. He played very well.”
Axelsen was obviously delighted. “I am very happy, as happy as I was when I won the title here the first time. I wanted to start by hitting hard. I also think Lakshya was a little tired after the tough match yesterday.”

The Olympic champion had a clear game plan for the match: engage the Indian in long rallies and confine him to the back court. The Dane started on a fluent note, winning six straight points. Lakshya tried to break the rhythm and scored two points but the tall Dane was in no mood to relent. He went into the break with a nine-point cushion (11- 2). It was difficult for the Indian to bridge the gap. Still, Lakshya collected eight more points before Axelsen closed out the first game.


Lakshya looked the better player at the net on the day. But Axelsen hardly allowed him any net play. Lifting the shuttle high and hitting the lines hard, Axelsen took the lead in the second game and even before Lakshya could get his momentum, Axelsen was up 18-11. Though Lakshya, the youngest Indian to reach the final, made some recovery, it was too late.
Late on Saturday, the women’s doubles pair of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly bowed out in the semifinals following their 17-21, 16-21 defeat to Shu Xiang Zhang and You Zheng of China.

The Indian girls were up 11-8 in the first game before the Chinese found their rhythm and moved forward with a five-point burst from 15-15 to seal the issue. Gayatri-Treesa were in the contest till the 15th point of the second game.
Though they failed to reach the final, 19-year-old Gayatri and 18-yearold Treesa, the more aggressive of the duo, gave a good account of themselves by becoming the first pair to reach the semifinals of this prestigious event. They had defeated Olympic champions in the pre-quarterfinals and World Championships silver medallists in the quarterfinals.


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