Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen suffered a straight-games loss to Japan’s Kodai Naraoka in the men’s singles quarterfinal to bring down curtains on India’s campaign at the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament in Odense.
Sen, 2021 world championships bronze medallist, lost 17-21, 12-21 to Naraoka, a bronze medallist at the 2018 Youth Olympics, in a lop-sided contest on Friday night.
The two have played thrice in international circuit with the Japanese winning twice. Interestingly, it was Sen, who had defeated him in the 2018 Youth Olympics semifinals, their last meeting.
The 21-year-old from Japan, however, proved to be a difficult customer on Friday as he produced a dominating performance to stay ahead for most part of the contest. After opening a 5-2 lead, Naraoka jumped to a 13-9 advantage at one stage. Sen had grabbed a slender 15-14 lead but the Japanese quickly moved ahead to earn the bragging rights.
Things went further downhill for Sen in the second game as Naraoka led 5-1 before swelling it to 11-3 at the interval.
Naraoka continued to dominate the proceedings to move to 13-6. Sen grabbed the next three points but Naraoka soon bounced back to shut the door on his rival.
Earlier in the day, India’s top-ranked men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost 16-21, 19-21 to World champions Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia in the quarterfinals.
The Indian shuttlers will next be in action at the French Open which begins on Tuesday.