Canada Open 2023: Lakshya Sen enters finals, PV Sindhu loses to Yamaguchi in semi-finals


Calgary: Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen stormed into the final of the Canada Open Super 500 badminton tournament with a straight-game win over Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto here. Sen beat the 11th-ranked Japanese 21-17 21-14 to reach his second Super 500 final. This will also be his first BWF final in a year. India’s biggest shuttler and two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu, on the other hand, was routed 14-21 15-21 by number one Yamaguchi of Japan. Slipped to number 19. The 21-year-old had won a bronze medal in the 2021 World Championship. He will now face China’s Li Shi Feng in the final on Sunday, against whom he has a 4-2 head-to-head record. “It was a very poor start, I could not control the shuttle very well. As soon as I got into the rhythm, it got better. The ‘perfect netplay’ was the key and that’s what we were both trying to do. In the end, I controlled the net and the smashes were good. Technically a very well played match. I am happy with my performance.

Ranked sixth, Sen had last played a final at the Commonwealth Games in August last year. He was trailing 0-4 early in the semifinals here but soon leveled at 8-8. Nishimoto was leading 11-10 at the break but soon the Indian came back with his favorite smashes and sharp returns to seal the game with his opponent’s long shots.

In the second game, the two fought evenly but Sen’s alertness got the better of Nishimoto. At one point the scores were level at 2-2 and both were tied at 9-9. Sen took a two-point lead at the break. Sen led 19-11 after the break and the Indian won the match after Nishimoto hit the net again. “There were a lot of Indian supporters in the stadium, they have been coming since day one, so it’s nice to play here,” Sen said.

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