Japan Open 2023: Lakshya Sen enters men’s singles semifinals; Satwik-Chirag bows out

The 21-year-old Commonwealth Games champion from Almora, Lakshya Sen will face either fifth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia or third seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand.
Lakshya entered his third consecutive semifinals. Image- The Hindu
Lakshya entered his third consecutive semifinals. Image- The Hindu

Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen continued his impressive run by defeating Japan's Koki Watanabe in straight games to enter the semi-finals of the Japan Open 2023 Super 750 Badminton Tournament. World No. 13 Sen, a bronze medalist at the World Championships 2021, beat 33rd-ranked Watanabe by 21-15, 21-19.

Lakshya entered his third consecutive semifinals. Image- The Hindu

Lakshya Sen has reached his third consecutive semi-final after Canada and America. He had won the Canada Open Super 500, followed by a semi-final finish at the US Open Super 300 earlier this month. The 21-year-old Commonwealth Games champion from Almora will face either fifth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia or third seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand.

Sen, who won the Canadian Open Super 500 tournament, started with a 5-3 lead. After that, he extended it to 11-7 at the break. Sen had no problem facing the Japanese opponent and took the first game with two brilliant crosscourt returns. In the second game, Watanabe tried to come back but Sen did not give up. At one point the score was 18-17 but with two returns, Sen grabbed a match point. After this, the backline won with a great return.

However, the in-form Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty ousted from the Japan Open 2023 badminton tournament. They were defeated by Olympic champions Chinese Taipei's Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin by 15-21, 25-23, 16-21in a close match. Satwik-Chirag had saved three match points in the second game of their match against Lee and Wang before winning it by a close 25-23 scoreline and taking the match into the deciding game. In the third game, however, the Chinese Taipei duo led from the start. They took a sizeable 19-12 lead and eventually close out the deciding game 21-16.

Later in the day, HS Prannoy, the world no.10 and India's highest-ranked men's singles player conceded his lead to lose his quarterfinal match against world no. 1 Viktor Axelsen 21-19, 18-21, 8-21. The match lasted for an hour and 16 minutes.

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