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All England Badminton Championship 2023: Thrillers for starters

Updated on: 15 March,2023 09:46 AM IST  |  Birmingham

Indian shuttlers HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen win hard-fought Round One encounters to begin All England Championships on positive note

All England Badminton Championship 2023: Thrillers for starters

HS Prannoy returns to Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang at Birmingham yesterday. Pic/Getty Images (right) Lakshya Sen

Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy produced superlative performances to progress to the second round of the All England Championships with hard-fought straight-game wins in the men’s singles competition here on Tuesday. In a high intensity match, Sen moved with speed and mounted a pinpoint attack on the lines to outwit fifth seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 21-19 in 48 minutes. The 21-year-old from Almora, who had reached the final in the last edition, thus claimed his first win over the World No. 5 after losing twice in three meetings.

Anxious moments

Earlier, World No. 9 Prannoy survived some anxious moments before prevailing 21-19, 22-20 against Tzu Wei Wang in his 49-minute opening round clash to take his overall tally to 5-3 over the Taiwanese. The match between Chou and Sen expectedly turned out to be high pace contest. Chou took a 3-1 lead but Sen clawed back to lead 7-6 after playing some short rallies. The Indian led 11-8 at the mid-game interval.

Fast-paced rallies

The fast-paced rallies continued as Sen kept a firm grip to move to 15-9, but Chou won eight of the next 10 points to level at 17-17, only to give it all away with two errors. A good judgement at the baseline took Sen to 19-17. A lucky net chord helped Chou make it 18-19, but he made another error to gift two game points to Sen, who converted it at the first opportunity.

After being locked 5-5 in the second game, Sen smashed out twice before producing a forehand flick to keep it 7-8 after a long rally. Sen looked to step up the attack, while Chou tried to vary the pace and prolong the rallies. However, Sen managed to eke out a one-point advantage at the break.

Also Read: Shuttler Lakshya Sen ousted in first round; Indian challenge ends

Looking for perfection, Chou erred as Sen moved to 15-12. Sen next wriggled out of a tricky situation with an immaculate shot and followed it with a powerful smash to lead 16-13. The Indian inched closer to win with another on-the-line return and then produced a flurry of smash to move to 19-17. Chou made it 18-19 before gifting two match point chances to Sen.

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