Lakshya Sen completed another upset, beating defending champion and sixth seed Lee Zii Jia, to move in the final of the All England Open.
The Indian won the first game 21-13. His defensive game was working well and so was his net play. Lee Zii Jia was unable to find a way past the Indian and went down rather tamely.
In the second, Lee Zii Jia took his game into top gear. The smash became a factor as did the errors Sen made at the net. The Malaysian took the game 21-12 and seemed to have all the momentum on his side.
And that helped the defending champ lead for most of the third game but then with the goal in sight, he became passive and then Lakshya Sen stepped up in a big way. The Indian took the game 21-19 to seal a magnificent win.
In the mixed zone, Lakshya Sen spoke about his match:
How are you feeling after beating the defending champion?
Towards the end, I was just play just one point at a time and not play the things that were going around. Not trying to think that this was a semi-final. The thought was still coming in but I was just trying to play one point at a time. I am happy that I won the match and that I get to play tomorrow. I will take this time to recover for the final.
Talk us through the match…
First game I got a good length and I was playing well from the net. The lifts were working. But when the second game started, I made a lot of errors at the net. He got a lead in the beginning and it was really hard to cover that up. But going into the third game, I tried to play safe at the net rather than going too close. I was trying not to give easy points.
Physical battle. Were you expecting that?
Yes, definitely. When you play a player like him, you expect that. Against any top 10 player… against any top 30 player… you prepare to go all out. I was expecting this. I was really prepared to play and the rest that I got yesterday helped.