Lakshya Sen’s fondest early memory of the India Open, he recalled, was in “2012 or 2013” when he’d watched Taufik Hidayat play. Today he took a giant step into his career’s biggest final at the same event, as he made the title round of the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2022 overcoming Ng Tze Yong in a hard-fought semifinal.
In a pitched battle of high pace, Ng Tze Yong’s attacking energy had Sen on the backfoot through the early phase of the match but the Malaysian struggled to keep up the intensity, even as Sen never let the pace dip. Quite impressively and despite the high pace, Sen made few errors through the second and third games, and wrapped up the match comfortably, 19-21 21-16 21-12.
“It’s a good feeling to be playing the final. I expected to do well in this tournament as I’ve been having a good run. Since the first match my touch has been good,” the Indian, bronze medallist at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021, said.
“The first game was pretty intense, both of us were playing at a high pace. It is quite similar to the way I played yesterday. I made a few errors in the first. The key was to play fast and play consistently and make him work on court.”
Chen/Peck Upstage Tan/Lai
Like Lakshya Sen, Chen Tang Jie and Peck Yen Wei too made the biggest final of their career by upstaging compatriots Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing.
Tan/Lai saved two match points in the second to force the third game, but Chen/Peck weren’t shaken off course, and eased through in the end, 21-19 21-23 21-14.
“I can’t remember when we were in our last final,” said Chen. “I feel very happy because this is our first time in a Super 500 final, but we need to focus for the next match. We just have to keep supporting each other.”
“I respect them (Tan/Lai), because even though they became independent players, they are quite professional, and we need to learn from them.”