Canada Open: ‘Net Rhythm’ Lifts Sen

Lakshya Sen is back in an HSBC BWF World Tour final after 15 months.

The Indian, whose recent health-related form slump saw him plummet 19 places to world No.25, cited his ability to take charge at the net after a slow start as the propeller for the 21-17 21-14 win over fourth seed Kenta Nishimoto at YONEX Canada Open 2023.

“It was a pretty bad start, I couldn’t control the shuttle well,” admitted Sen. “The moment I got the rhythm at the net (it got better). Near-perfect netplay was the key and we were both trying to do that.

“Eventually I took control at the net, the smashes were also working. Overall, good tactical game I played and I’m happy with my performance.”

Sen has not featured in a final since finishing runner-up to Viktor Axelsen at the All England in March last year. His last World Tour title came two months earlier at his home event of India Open. The 21-year-old however, took gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in August.

Sen has an extra reason to end his dry spell in Calgary.

“Plenty of Indian supporters in the stadium, they’ve been there from the first day so it’s really good to play in here,” said the current world No.19 ahead of his second Super 500 final.

Those fans however, will miss watching another favourite – Pusarla V. Sindhu, who lost to top seed Akane Yamaguchi 21-14 21-15.

Sen’s opponent will be Li Shi Feng, whom he beat in the Thailand Open second round last month to improve the head-to-head 4-2 in his favour. Li brushed off a tired-looking Kodai Naraoka 21-8 21-11 in just 33 minutes in the other semifinal.

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