Lakshya gives Lin Dan a scare before losing; Sai, Verma win
Auckland: Teenage shuttler Lakshya Sen reaffirmed his status as one of India's rising talent as he gave legendary Lin Dan a scare before losing in three games at the Auckland Open Badminton Championship, here on Thursday.
Up against two-time Olympic champion Dan, 17-year-old Lakshya gave a fantastic account of himself by pocketing the first game but eventually lost out on experience.
The Chinese calmly clawed back into the game to win the encounter 15-21 21-15 21-12 in a marathon second round men's singles match that lasted one hour and seven minutes.
"Good Match against the Legend Lin Dan......gave my best shot!! have realised that i still have a long way to go!! I would like to thank all the coaches of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, OGQ, SAI for their support," Lakshya tweeted after the match.
Third seeded B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma however won their respective matches in straight games to enter the quarterfinals.
Sai Praneeth defeated Malaysia's Darren Liew 21-18 21-7, while fifth seed Sameer Verma got the better of Cheuk Yiu Lee of Hong Kong 21-17 21-19 to seal their last eight berths.
The other Indian male shuttler Ajay Jayram lost to Kwang Hee Heo of Korea 21-15 20-22 6-21 in another marathon second round match. Sai Praneeth will next face Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka but Verma will have tough task at hand against Lin Dan. Men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, seeded fifth, also entered the quarter-final round with 21-9 21-12 win over Thailand's Pakin Kuna-Anuvit and Natthapat Trinkajee. But women's doubles combination of Meghana Jakkampudi and S Ram Poorvisha crashed out in the second round, losing 5-21 6-21 against top seeds Della Destiara Haris and Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia.
It was also curtains for India in the mixed doubles event with the pairs of Shivam Sharma-Poorvisha and Rohan Kapoor-Kuhoo Garg losing in the second round.
While Shivam and Poorvisha lost 16-21 14-21 against eight seed Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh of Malaysia, Kuhoo and Rohan were shown the door by top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand 11-21 11-21.