Senior Nationals: Lakshya Sen stuns Prannoy

Uttarakhand's 15-year-old Lakshya Sen, junior National champion and junior World No.1, defeated top-seed H. S. Prannoy of PSPB 15-21, 21-18, 21-19 to enter the quarterfinals.

Lakshya Sen was unruffled in his three-game victory against top-seed H. S. Prannoy.   -  Ranjeet Kumar

He couldn't have found a better place to make his announcement than the 81st Senior National badminton championship.

Playing his first Nationals, Lakshya Sen, all of 15 years old, and > recently crowned the World Junior No. 1, stunned the top seed H. S. Prannoy of Petroleum 15-21, 21-18, 21-19 here on Sunday, to enter the quarterfinals.

READ: >Lakshya Sen ready to play with the big boys

As much as the stunning victory, it was the manner in which he handled the pressure that came in for much praise. Never for a moment did the kid make a noise nor did he exert himself unduly after winning a point.

On the tour, Lakshya, the reigning junior National champion, is known for his no-nonsense approach and his disdain for reputations. It was in full view today.

After the first game, in which Prannoy blew away Lakshya with powerful smashes from the backcourt, Lakshya remained calm in the next two games -- a trait not expected from boys his age.

He grabbed the half-chances that came his way. During crunch moments, his defence was solid, retrieving the top seed's smashes and going for the kill; his cross-court smashes gave Prannoy little chance.

At the net, Prannoy fluffed his forehand and backhand drops quite often especially in the third game, and an unruffled Lakshya kept his composure to script a famous win. Lakshya will next take on Daniel Farid of Karnataka, who put it across Rohit Yadav of Telangana in tough three games.

In other interesting matches, Pratul Joshi, seeded five, had to bring all his resources to outwit Ansal Yadav of Uttar Pradesh 21-13, 19-21, 21-18. Pratul will be challenged by Harsheel Dani of Maharashtra in the last eight clash.

Sameer Verma, the second seed, who had a difficult third round against Subhankar Dey, eased past Karnataka's M.G. Hemant in straight games in the next.

In the women’s section, Tanvi Lad faced her first resistance in three matches against Shruti Mundada. The top seed from Petroleum emerged unscathed with a 21-15, 21-15 triumph. Earlier, Reshma Karthik of Air India tamed sixth seeded Anura Prabhudesai of AAI. Reshma didn't give Anura the height and width to unleash her trademark smashes or cross-court drops.

The results (pre-quarterfinals):

Men's:

Lakshya Sen (Utr) bt H.S. Prannoy (Pet) 15-21, 21-18, 21-19; Sourabh Verma (Pet) bt Kaushal Dharmamer (AAI) 21-19, 21-15; Harsheel Dani (Mah) bt M. Mithun (AI) 21-18, 21-14; Pratul Joshi (AAI) bt Ansal Yadav (UP) 21-13, 19-21, 21-18; Daniel Farid (Kar) bt Rohit Yadav (TS) 17-21, 23-21, 21-11; Bodhit Joshi (Utr) bt A.S.S. Siril Varma (TS) 21-19, 21-14; Sameer Verma (Pet) bt M.G. Hemant (Kar) 21-9, 21-6; Aditya Prakash (Pet) bt Munawar Mohammed (Ker) 21-18, 21-18.

Women's:

Tanvi Lad (Pet) bt Shruti Mundada (Mah) 21-15, 21-15; Rituparna Das (TS) bt Ananya Goel (Del) 21-8, 21-7; Rasika Raje (AAI) bt Neha Pandit (Mah) 21-16, 28-26; Reshma Karthik (AI) bt Aruna Prabhudesai (AAI) 21-10, 21-15; Arundhati Pantawane (Pet) bt Shriyanshi Pardeshi (MP) 16-21, 21-19, 21-18; Saili Rane (Rly) bt Ashmita Chaliha (Asm) 20-22, 21-11, 21-18; Aakarshi Kashyap (Cht) bt Ira Sharma (Har) 21-12, 21-16; Riya Pilai (Mah) bt A.J. Niranjana (AAI) 21-6, 21-10.

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