All England Open: Viktor Axelsen defeated Lakshya Sen in the men’s singles final.© AFP
The world number one Viktor Axelsen on Sunday defeated India’s Lakshya Sen to win the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships. It took the reigning Olympic champion just 53 minutes to defeat the unseeded Indian by 21-10, 21-15 here at Utilita Arena in Birmingham. The Dane shuttler has now increased his lead in the head-to-head against Sen by 5-1. The young Indian shutter was bidding to become only the third man after Prakash Padukone (1980) and Pullela Gopichand (2001) to win the All England Open Badminton Championships, or simply All England which is the world’s oldest and most prestigious badminton tournament.
The top-seed was the man on mission from the get-go as he took the 6-0 lead in the first game and then raced towards a nine points lead at the mid-game interval.
After the resumption, the Danish shuttler continued the demolition of the World number 11 Indian as he grabbed the first game without breaking any sweat.
The second game started on a pacy note as the shuttle kept changing on the racquet of both the players but it was again the athlete from Denmark who came out at the top in the mid-game break and this time with the lead of four points.
The change of sides didn’t do any favour for Sen as he continued to struggle against the smashes of the former All England champion. Axelsen who was playing in his fourth consecutive All-England final showed no respite to young shuttler as he continued his charge and demolished any resistance showed by Sen.
The Dane shuttler eventually called the match by winning the second game 21-15. After taking part in this final, Sen is now only the fifth Indian – after Prakash Nath (1947), Prakash Padukone (1980 and 1981), Pullela Gopichand (2001) and Saina Nehwal (2015) – to make the summit clash of All England.
India’s rising badminton star has been in top form in recent times. He secured his maiden world championships bronze in December, before winning his first Super 500 title at India Open in January and finishing runner-up at the German Open last week.
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