India’s singles campaign came to an end in the Vietnam Open Grand Prix badminton tournament after Lakshya Sen and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde both lost their quarter-final matches on Friday. Sen, 16, and Gadde, 20, were both beaten in three games by their opponents.
In the battle of the juniors, Sen, who is the junior world No 1, was expected to beat the 15th-ranked Kodai Naraoka of Japan, who is also 16 years old. The two players were neck and neck in the first two games, taking one each and forcing a third, before the Japanese completely blew away the Indian in the decider. Naraoka won 21-17, 21-23, 21-10 in a match that lasted an hour and five minutes.
Sen, who had won the Bulgaria Open International Series last month, was on the defensive almost throughout the match and could not get ahead of his opponent on the day, only narrowly edging the Japanese out in the second game.
Gadde’s match against second seed Dinar Dyah Ayustine started on a positive note as the Indian took the first game 21-18. However, the Indonesian world No 43 switched on her batteries in the following two games and wrapped up the match in 55 minutes. Ayustine won 18-21, 21-15, 21-8 to enter the semi-finals.
India’s campaign in the tournament is still alive in the men’s doubles draw, where fifth seeds Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok beat Thai pair Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash in the quarter-finals 21-13, 18-21, 21-13. The Indian pair could face third seeds Min Chun Liao and Cheng Heng Su of Chinese Taipei in the semi-finals.