Dutch Open winner Lakshya Sen recalibrates goal to Top 30

Lakshya Sen clinched his maiden BWF World Tour title by winning the Dutch Open World Tour Super 100 title. He is now ranked World No. 52.

Lakshya Sen won his maiden BWF World Tour title to head closer to Top 50 in the world rankings.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

A maiden BWF World tour title pushing him closer to top 50, Dutch Open champion Lakshya Sen says he will look to put up a good show in the remainder of the season to break into the world’s top 30.

The 18-year-old on Sunday clinched his maiden BWF World Tour title by winning the Dutch Open title, beating Yusuke Onodera of Japan 15-21, 21-14, 21-15 in the summit clash.

“This is the biggest title of my career so far. I have reached quarters and a semifinals in the past, so it is good to finally win a super 100 tournament. It will boost my ranking and give me a chance to play the super 500 tournaments,” Lakshya, who rose to world no 52 this week, told PTI.

“At the beginning of the year, my target was to reach the top 50 and after this win I would be close to that. I still have few events left in the year. If I can do well there, I can go further up. Hope I can break into top 30 early next year.”

Lakshya will play the Saarlorlux Open Super 100 (Oct 29-Nov 3) next, before participating in two International Challenge events at the Irish Open (November 13-16) and Scottish Open (Nov 21-24). He will also play the Syed Modi International Super 300 (Nov 26-Dec 1).

It was an impressive week for the teen shuttler, who displayed superb temperament and skills to outwit his opponents.

“At the beginning of the year, my target was to reach the top 50 and after this win I would be close to that. I still have few events left in the year. If I can do well there, I can go further up. Hope I can break into top 30 early next year.” — Lakshya Sen

“The first round against Nhat (Nguyen) was tough, the second match was okay but again playing (Ygor) Coelho was difficult. I had played him before so I was ready for a big match,” said the 2018 Asian Junior Champion.

“The finals was also a long match and I am happy how I performed overall in the week,” he said.

Talking about the final, Lakshya said: “I had seen him play the semifinals against Li Shi Feng. So I watched his youtube videos and was prepared to play more rallies. I knew I have to run a bit against him.

“In the first game, I made 2-3 errors in crucial stages. I was going too close to the line and made unforced errors. So in the second and third, I avoided that and decided not to take too many chances and be more patient and wait for him to make mistakes. It worked.”

The Uttarakhand shuttler, who has claimed a silver at Youth Olympics and bronze medal at World Junior Championships last year, has looked susceptible to injury, especially when he tries to push himself hard in training.

“I think I have to constantly work on my fitness, strength and stamina. I am better in that aspect then before but I need to be keep working on that as in international badminton everyone is so fit and I need to be prepared for long matches,” Lakshya said.

“It is important to find that balance in training as recovery is an important aspect of an athlete’s life. I need to be injury free and so I am focussing on my strength and stamina.”

Lakshya also acknowledged the contribution of four-time All-England champion Morten Frost, who was by his courtside when he played the final at Almere.

“Training with Frost has helped me a lot. He was at Bangalore for two weeks and even in the final, his inputs were of great help. He told me to be patient and just retrieve and go for the kill when there is a chance,” said Lakshya, who is currently in Europe playing in the Danish League for Aarhus club.