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Lakshya Sen won the Canada Open Super 500 in Calgary by defeating Li Shi Feng 21-18, 22-20 after saving four game points in the second game. Lakshya Sen demonstrated his mental tenacity in crucial situations against the reigning All-England champion with six consecutive points.
Lakshya’s victory marks her second BWF World Tour victory, the previous coming at the India Open in 2022. It’s his first tournament since the Commonwealth Games in August of last year.
Lakshya is the second Indian singles player to win a championship this year, following HS Prannoy, who won the Malaysia Masters.
Lakshya, who had nose surgery for a deviated septum following the World Championships last August, has extended his winning streak over Shi Feng. The Indian won the Thailand Open last month, improving their head-to-head record to 4-2.
“It was difficult coming into the Olympic qualification year because things didn’t go my way.” So this victory will enhance my confidence significantly,” Sen told PTI.
“I had to dig deep in some matches, the conditions were different, and getting used to it was important,” the ace shuttler explained.
In the first game, Commonwealth Games winner Lakshya led 6-2 and never looked back. Even after Li Shi Feng equalised at 15-15, Lakshya stayed on the attack, scoring three consecutive points to put the Chinese shuttler at bay.
Soon after, he won the game, which was played at a fast tempo and with several rallies.
In the second game, Li Shi Feng appeared to have built a big enough advantage (20-16) to force a third game. But, as Sen has repeatedly demonstrated, no lead is safe around him.
Lakshya Sen Tactics to win
Sen forced Shi Feng to make mistakes with largely wins before doing the task on his own with winners. Lakshya Sen earned his first BWF World Tour final appearance in 15 months as the six points came and went.
“This has been an incredible week for me.” “I got better as the event went on, I got used to the conditions, and I played a good tactical game yesterday and today, so I’m happy with my performance,” Sen remarked after winning with a smash.