Lakshya Sen defeated compatriot Sourabh Verma in straight games to enter the second round but it was curtains for Saina Nehwal at the Denmark Open Super 1000 tournament on Wednesday.
Lakshya, who had finished runners-up at the Dutch Open last Sunday, dished out a superb performance to beat national champion Sourabh 21-9, 21-7 in 26 minutes.
The 20-year-old from Almora, who had missed out on making the cut for the Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup Final after losing his only match in the trials, will clash with second seed and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark next.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had retired midway through her first match at Uber Cup Final due to a groin injury, couldn’t match Japan’s world No 20 Aya Ohori and lost 21-16, 21-14 in the opening round.
Former top 10 player HS Prannoy also bowed out of the competition after losing 18-21, 19-21 to sixth seeded Indonesian Jonatan Christie, while 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli kashyap retired after being 0-3 down against fourth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 17-21, 21-14, 11-21 loss to China’s Feng Yan Zhe and Du Yue in mixed doubles, while Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram lost 8-21, 7-21 to Indonesian combination of Nita Violina Marwah and Putri Syaikah in women’s doubles.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini and N Sikki Reddy also went down 17-21, 13-21 to second seeded Korean pair of Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan.
Lakshya had claimed five titles in 2019 before Covid-19 forced the suspension of the BWF calender.
On Wednesday, the world No 25 was up against Sourabh, an opponent against whom he had lost twice in the past, but it made no difference as Lakshya dished out a dominating show.
He led 7-2 early on and never looked in trouble as he reeled off seven straight points from 13-7 to grab seven game points. Sourabh saved two before Lakhsya pocketed the opening game.
In the second game, Lakshya stepped up the pace and jumped to a 7-0 advantage and kept marching ahead to seal the contest.
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