Indian shuttlers Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy on Tuesday progressed to the second round of the 2023 All England Open.
Sen stunned fifth seed Chou Tien Chen 21-18, 21-19 in 49 minutes to secure his first win against the Chinese Taipei player in three meetings. Prannoy beat Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei 21-19, 22-20 to move into the second round at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.
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Sen, runner-up at the tournament last year, had lost both his previous meetings with Tien Chen in three games. It was cautious start from both players in the first game with Sen going 11-8 ahead the mid-game break.
World Championships 2022 bronze medalist Chen steadily cut into Sen’s lead levelling the score at 17-17 only for Sen to pull away and secure the first game.
The second game followed a similar template as the first with Sen leading 11-10 at the break. Both men came out attacking playing deft drop shots as well as powerful smashes.
With the score at 19-18 in Sen’s favour, Chen committed a service error to to give Sen two match points and the Indian duly won the match at the second time of asking.
Sen was being coached by former national chief coach Vimal Kumar and former national champion Anup Sridhar.
Earlier in the day, world No 9 Prannoy got off to a strong start in his first-round match taking a 11-4 lead in the opening game. However, Tzu Wei fought back after the mid-game interval to tie the score at 19-19 before Prannoy held his nerve to clinch the game.
The second game was a close contest from the beginning with Prannoy taking a 11-10 lead at the mid-game break. The pair swapped the lead after the break with Prannoy even having match point at 20-19. Tzu Wei levelled the score but Prannoy once again came up clutch to win the game and secure his place in the second round.
Prannoy next plays world No 3 Anthony Ginting. The Indian holds a 2-1 Head-to-Head record against Ginting.
Sen will take on Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in a rematch of last year’s meeting at this exact same stage.
Rest of the Indian contingent are in action on Wednesday.
Court 2 matches are on JioCinema while 3 and 4 will be BWF TV YouTube.