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German Open 2022 badminton: Lakshya Sen to face Tokyo Olympics champion Viktor Axelsen in semis

India’s Kidambi Srikanth was knocked out by world No. 1 Axelsen in the quarters. Lakshya beat compatriot HS Prannoy.

Indian badminton player Lakshya Sen progressed to the semi-finals of the men’s singles event at the German Open 2022 BWF Super 300 event at Mulheim on Friday.

Lakshya Sen, the world No. 12, defeated fellow Indian HS Prannoy 21-15, 21-16 in his final eight match to set up a clash against world No. 1 and reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen, who defeated Kidambi Srikanth in the other quarter-final.

HS Prannoy, the world No. 24, settled into the match quickly and zoomed to a 4-0 lead. Lakshya Sen, however, found his rhythm on time and dominated his senior compatriot to take the first game.

Lakshya Sen kept his nose ahead for the rest of the match and registered a comfortable win over the Commonwealth Games gold medallist HS Prannoy in 39 minutes.

This was Lakshya Sen’s second win of the year against HS Prannoy. Lakshya Sen, 20, had defeated HS Prannoy at the India Open quarter-finals in January.

Despite facing a tall order in the semis against Danish ace Viktor Axelsen, Lakshya Sen will enter the match full of confidence, having ousted Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist and world No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-7, 21-9 in the second round.

Lakshya Sen had also defeated world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore to clinch the India Open in January.

Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile, went down to Viktor Axelsen 21-10, 22-20 in 35 minutes.

With this win, Viktor Axelsen extended his head-to-head record against the world championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth to 9-3.

Earlier in the day, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday, India’s challenge in women’s singles at the German Open 2022 ended after PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal lost their respective second-round matches. They will be next seen in action at All England Open 2022 which starts on March 16.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala

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