Junior world No 3 Lakshya Sen on Thursday fought back from a game down to beat Malaysia’s Yee Han Chong for the second successive time in as many weeks.

Sen’s 21-23, 21-10, 21-18 victory in the first round of the Tata Open India International Challenge in Mumbai came just five days after he had beaten the Malaysian 21-15, 17-21, 21-17 in the final of the India International Series in Hyderabad.

The two shuttlers have a similar playing style – both love to attack and go for the jump smash, and there were plenty of ooh-aah moments during the one-hour-three-minute encounter.

Sen started off slowly, conceding five points before he could get one for himself. He was trailing 5-11 in the first game before he stepped up a gear and took it right down to the wire. The 23-year-old Malaysian eventually won the game 23-21, opening up the possibility of the first upset of the tournament.

However, Sen is not one to give up. He did not let the deficit put him down and continued with his attacking game in the second, eventually winning it comfortably to take the match into a decider.

The third game was again a very competitive one as both players fought tooth and nail to get into round two. At 19-17 to Sen, with adrenaline in full flow, an umpiring gaffe added to the drama as the line judge and chair umpire saw two different things.

The chair umpire first gave the point to Sen, but after Chong protested he checked with the line umpire who said that it was the Malaysian’s point. The umpire corrected himself and ruled in Chong’s favour, which led to Sen protesting and summoning the referee. The point was eventually awarded to Chong, and rightly so, but Sen’s argument was valid – should the chair umpire have changed his initial call?

The mini controversy, however, eventually worked in Sen’s favour as he won three straight points to take the match.

A day of three-gamers

This was just one of the many exciting matches on an action packed first day of the main draw of the Tata Open. Six out of the 16 women’s singles first-round matches also went into three games, while it was five on the men’s side.

The clash between Siddharth Pratap Singh and Daniel Farid was also a notable one for the duration of the encounter. The two shuttlers battled it out for almost an hour and a half before Singh came through 12-21, 21-18, 21-19.

Siddharth Pratap Singh (above) and Daniel Farid battled it out for almost 90 minutes before the former won (Image: Tata Open)

Siddharath Thakur and NVS Vijetha also locked horns for an hour and five minutes before the former won 21-17, 21-23, 21-16.

In the women’s singles draw, too, two matches clocked over an hour. Goa’s Anura Prabhudesai fought valiantly before going down to Hong Kong’s Fan Ka Yang 19-21, 21-19, 19-21. Earlier, Amolika Singh Sisodiya beat Shruti Mundada 20-22, 21-14, 23-21.

There were no major upsets in the day, both in singles and doubles. Three of the four women’s doubles pairs progressed to the quarter-finals, while only the top two went through on the men’s side. Top seeds and defending champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty coasted through to the quarter-finals after beating a Malaysian pair in straight games, as did national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy against their opponents from Hong Kong.

The play of the day came in the men’s doubles match between fourth seeds M Anilkumar Raju-Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Utkarsh Arora-Swarnaraj Bora.

During one of the many great rallies in the match, Bora dived to retrieve the shuttle and managed to get it across the court. To make the most of Bora’s disadvantageous position, the fourth seeds then smashed the shuttle in his direction three more times, all of which he took while sitting on the court.

Incredibly, Bora managed to get the shuttle across the net all three times. Even more incredibly, Arora also was floored later in that same rally, but the pair still managed to win the point. Bora and Arora won the match 18-21, 22-20, 21-11. Third seeds MR Arjun and Shlok Ramachandran were also beaten by a pair from Thailand – in straight games.