German Open 2022: Lakshya Sen keeps India campaign alive, meets Viktor Axelsen in the semifinals

German Open 2022: While Kidambi Srikanth lost to Viktor Axelsen in straight games, the in-form Lakshya Sen will meet the reigning Olympic champion in the men’s semifinals on Saturday.

Lakshya Sen meets Viktor Axelsen in the men’s singles semifinals of the German Open on Saturday (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Lakshya Sen defeated HS Prannoy to advance to the semifinals
  • Lakshya meets VIktor Axelsen in the semifinals on Saturday
  • Kidambi Srikanth lost to the Olympic champion in the quarterfinals

World Championship bronze medalist Lakshya Sen kept Inda’s campaign alive at the German Open Super 300 tournament as he reached the semi-finals of the men’s singles event. Kidambi Srikanth, who won silver at the world meeting, lost to Olympic gold medalist Viktor Axelsen in Friday’s quarterfinals.

The 20-year-old Sen, who won his first Super 500 title at the India Open in January, continued his rich form as he defeated former top-10 player HS Prannoy 21-15, 21-16 in a All Indians defeated quarterfinals that lasted 39 minutes. The world number 14. had also defeated Prannoy, currently ranked 24th, in the quarterfinals of the India Open.

Sen now meets the top seeded and former world champion Viktor Axelsen from Denmark in the semifinals on Saturday.

World No. 1 Axelsen proved a tough customer for Srikanth as he lost 10-21, 21-23 in 35 minutes. It was the Indian trot’s sixth loss to Axelsen, whom he had beaten three times in the past, including en route to his 2017 Denmark Open title in Odense.

Srikanth, playing his first event since recovering from COVID-19 that forced him out of the India Open, looked clueless in the early moments of the game against Axelsen as the Dane galloped to a 17-4 lead.

India’s hopes now rest on the young shoulders of Sen, who stunned fourth-seeded Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-7, 21-9 in a second-round match on Thursday and carried his momentum into the quarter-finals against Prannoy.

At the start of the tournament, two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu was stunned in the 2nd round, while veteran Saina Nehwal looked rusty on her comeback as she also exited the tournament in the 2nd round.

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