(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Sen topples world champion as India make history
Date: 1/17/2022 9:26 AM
Published by : Yash Sharma
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/ Chirag Shetty secured the first-ever home men’s doubles title for India, while Lakshya Sen follows Srikanth Kidambi in winning the men’s singles. 

The tall Indians faced the highly accomplished Indonesian pair Mohammad Ahsan/ Hendra Setiawan in the final. Despite an unfavourable 3-1 record, it was their determination to win that saw them through in a nail-biting second game. 

The Daddies looked unsettled throughout the affair and made multiple unforced errors. Consequently, they later relied on their famous flat game to make it tough for the home favourites. Rankireddy/ Shetty managed to seal the title in two games: 21-16, 26-24.

Lakshya Sen trumps world champion 
With the past record poised at 2-2, the men’s singles title was for anyone’s taking. As the match proceeded, there were two notable aspects: the World Championships bronze medallist’s strategy to slow down the tempo and the resulting frustration for Loh Kean Yew. 

Having a solid defensive game, the Indian played safe shots all the time to neutralise the world champion’s speed. Moreover, he converted most of the opportunities that presented themselves: a loose clear from Loh was punished by a thunderous smash and a lightning-fast follow up every single time. 

As Sen showed nerves, the Singaporean almost ran away with the opener: from trailing 19-14 to leading 20-19. However, the Indian benefitted from his opponent’s mistakes when it mattered the most. He won 24-22, 21-17. 

Double delight for Thailand 
While Supanida Katethong had caused the biggest upset of the tournament by beating the top seed Pusarla V. Sindhu in the semifinals, she was unable to go all the way. In an all-Thai final, the left-hander again gave a good account of herself. However, it was not enough to overcome her senior compatriot Busanan Ongbamrungphan. The higher-ranked player lifted the women’s singles trophy after 76 minutes of gruelling badminton: 22-20, 19-21, 21-13. 

In the women’s doubles, Benyapa Aimsaard/ Nuntakarn Aimsaard quickly dispatched the Russian duo Anastasiia Akchurina/ Olga Morzova 21-13, 21-5 to win their biggest title. 

Consolation for Singapore
Even though Loh Kean Yew fell short of delivering for Singapore this time, Hee Yong Kai Terry/ Tan Wei Han had already bagged the mixed doubles trophy. They delivered a dominant performance over the top seed relinquishers Chen Tang Jie/ Peck Yen Wei to win 21-15, 21-18 in 40 minutes. 

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