Lakshya Sen: Belgian Open title will give me confidence for upcoming tournaments

The 18-year-old from Almora shocked second seed Victor Svendsen of Denmark in straight games to clinch the men’s singles title at the Belgian International Challenge last Saturday.

Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen is hoping to sustain the consistency that fetched him the Belgian Open.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen is hoping to sustain the consistency that fetched him the Belgian Open as he looks to break into top 50 in the world ranking, and qualify for bigger tournaments next season.

The 18-year-old from Almora shocked second seed Victor Svendsen of Denmark in straight games to clinch the men’s singles title at the Belgian International Challenge last Saturday.

“I think I played consistently well throughout the week and I’m happy with my performance,” Lakshya, who didn’t drop a single game throughout the tournament, said.

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“This win will give me lots of confidence to do well in the coming tournaments. This year I can play more tournaments than last year in the senior circuit and I hope to prepare well for all the tournaments.” he added.

Playing his first full-fledged season in the senior circuit, Lakshya had broken into the top-100 in March this year. The Belgian Open win saw him jump 12 places to grab the World No 67th spot in the latest BWF ranking.

His father DK Sen, an SAI coach, who gave him the early lessons in badminton, said Lakshya will have to quickly get into the top 50 by the year-end.

“The target now for him will be to break into the top 50 by end of the year so that he can qualify for bigger tournaments,” he said.

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Asked about his upcoming tournaments, Lakshya, the reigning Asian Junior Championship winner, said: “I’ll be playing the Dutch and SaarLorLux Open next month and then in November, I have Irish and Scottish Open.”

Lakshya, who also claimed a bronze at the World Junior Championship and silver at Youth Olympic Games last year, is currently in Europe playing in the Danish League for Aarhus club. “It’s nice to be in Denmark and the league matches are exiting. It’s a new experience for me,” he said.

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“We are going to be in Europe for 3 months, play the European circuit and the league matches.

“In the first team match, I won against Jan Jorgensen and got 1 point for the team. It was a big match for me,” added the Indian, whose next outing in the country will be the Syed Modi World Tour Super 300.

Lakshya, who has been a trainee at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) since 2010, had decided to play in the season circuit after the high in juniors last year.

He began the year well with a semifinal finish at the China Masters Super 100 tournament before reaching the finals at Polish Open. After a few early exits, he suffered an ankle injury in July but recovered well to claim the Belgian Open.

“This year, I twisted my ankle in July. It was not very major but I took two weeks to get back on the court. I’m just taking good care and rehab,” Lakshya said. “Mental strength is very important as in senior circuit every match is tough,” he signed off.