All-England Badminton: Lakshya Sen goes down fighting to Jonatan Christie in semis

Birmingham, March 16 (IANS) Lakshya Sen’s superb run in the All-England Badminton Championship came to a screeching halt in a hard-fought three-game defeat to Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the men’s singles semifinals of the prestigious event. Lakshya, the lone Indian player in the fray in the BWF World Tour Super 1000 event, went down to Christie 21-12, 10-21, 21-15 in a match that lasted just over one hour at the Utilita Arena Birmingham in England.

The 22-year-old Indian shuttler ranked 18th in the World, lost the first game as the 26-year-old Indonesian star took charge from the initial skirmishes in which lead changed hands regularly. Christie broke away from 6-6 and opened a 17-4 lead. Lakshya fought back to reduce the margin to 10-15 in the event with a prize fund of USD 1,300,000.

The Indonesian star however maintained the upper hand and went on to win the first game 21-12, converting the lone game point she earned.

In the second game, Lakshya surged ahead from 2-2 to take a 4-3 lead. He claimed seven consecutive points to take an 11-3 lead. Though Jonatan Christie won the next two points, Lakshya managed to extend his lead to 17-4. After the Indonesian player reduced the margin to 18-9, Lakshya went on to win the game 21-10 to level the score 1-1.

Lakshya took an early lead in the third and deciding game, moving ahead 3-1. He led 6-3. The Indonesian player came back strongly to level scores at 8-8. Christie won the next few points to go 11-8 ahead and though Lakshya reduced the margin to 10-14, they won five consecutive points to extend the lead to 20-13 and went on to win the match after the Indian saved three match points. Christie eventually won the decider 21-15 to win the match in one hour and eight minutes.

In the final on Sunday, Jonatan Christie will take on Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who reached the final by beating Christo Popov of France 19-21, 21-5, 21-11 in a 70-minute encounter.



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