Bangkok, June 3 (IANS) India’s challenge at the Thailand Open 2023 badminton tournament came to an end on Saturday after Lakshya Sen went down fighting in the men’s singles event, here.
The Commonwealth Games 2022 champion Lakshya Sen lost 21-13, 17-21, 13-21 to world No. 5. Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand.
Ranked No. 23 in the badminton rankings, Lakshya was aiming to make his first BWF World Tour final since reaching the All England Open 2022 title clash. He started strongly and pulled to a 7-4 lead early on and kicked on to cruise to win the first game.
Lakshya and Kunlavut Vitidsarn went neck-and-neck for most of the second game. With the scores reading 17-all, the Thai shuttler stepped up to win the next four points in a row and kept himself alive in the contest.
In the decider, the 21-year-old Indian smashed his way to take a slender 11-10 lead going into the break. On return, Vitidsarn raised his game and won 11 of the next 13 points to knock Sen out.
With this defeat, Lakshya trails Kunlavut Vitidsarn 5-3 in the head-to-head record.
Lakshya, a world championships bronze medallist, has endured a difficult 2023 season and this was his first semifinal appearance of the year. His previous best performance was making the quarter-finals of the Indonesia Masters.
Earlier, India’s challenge in the women’s singles event ended with the exit of Saina Nehwal in the round of 16 while PV Sindhu lost in the first round.