March 23, 2023

Srikanth prevails over Lakshya, becomes first Indian man to enter world championships final | Badminton News – Times of India

Kidambi Srikanth etched a new chapter in the history of Indian badminton when he waltzed into the men’s singles final of the World Badminton Championship with a hard fought victory over compatriot Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17.
The 28-year-old former world No.1 will be the first Indian to play the men’s singles final. Prakash Padukone in 1983 and Sai Praneeth in 2019 had lost in the semifinals of the Worlds.
As it happened: Srikanth vs Lakshya
After winning four Super Series titles in 2017, Srikanth’s form nosedived and his performance in Huelva, Spain on Saturday, when he made his first final in 34 weeks, should do his confidence good in the final on Sunday.

It was a tough win for the 28-year-old as 20-year-old Lakshya gave his senior a tough time and looked like making it to the final. Had he done so, Lakshya would have become the youngest ever to achieve that feat.
It was a see-saw battle in the first game. Lakshya gained an upper hand after the sixth point and went into the break with an 11-8 lead. Thereafter, when the youngster was cruising ahead at 15-11, Srikanth came back with three smashes to level it 16-16. However, at 17-17 Srikanth missed a sitter and found the net. He then lost the next three points with two more unforced errors.
After winning the first game, Lakshya started on a strong note in the second, leading 8-4. At this stage, Srikanth upped his game. Playing smashes with ease and moving Lakshya all over the court, Srikanth won seven of the last eight points to lead 11-9 at the break.

Lakshya made a brief recovery, but Srikanth powered ahead by winning points at will and forcing Lakshya to make mistakes. Such was his dominance that he won 17 of the last 23 points and clinched the winner in style with a crosscourt jump smash
World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei reached her first final at Worlds with a 21-17, 13-21, 21-14 victory against He Bing Jiao of China. She will face Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, who downed Zhang Yi Man of China 21-19, 21-19.
Results (SFs):
Men: Kidambi Srikanth (Ind) bt Lakshya Sen (Ind) 17-21, 21-14, 21-17.
Women: Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) bt He Bing Jiao (Chn) 21-17, 13-21, 21-14; Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) bt Zhang Yi Man 21-19, 21-19.

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