The prestigious All England Open is underway in Birmingham, England. In this premier tournament, Indian shuttlers are performing superbly. Unseeded teenagers Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand created history on Friday, becoming the first pair of the country to sail into the semifinals of the All England Badminton Championships.
The two rising badminton stars in the country are playing in their maiden Super 1000 event. The word “number 46” stunned the second seeds of the Korean pair, Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan, in three sets: 14-21, 22-20, and 21-15. The Korean pair bagged a silver medal at the World Badminton Championships. They failed to cope with the India pair.
After trailing in the first set, the Indian duo fought gallantly and won both sets. Intense fighting could be seen in the second seed. Players on both sides played some breathtaking shots. But the Indian duo kept their nerve and overpowered their nemesis, 22-20. The mixture of aggression and defence by the Indian pair was remarkable.
Both the players put their opponents under pressure and snatched the second set from the Koreans. However, in the third and decisive set, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand remained cool and never allowed their opponents to stretch the match, winning the third set and the match by 21-15. The crowd really enjoyed this entertaining match.
In the single event, Indian players have emerged champions several times, but in the doubles, for the first time, Indian shuttlers showed superb temperament and a willingness to improve their performance. Both players remained cool, even in the tense moments of the match. In the end, they were able to overpower the far superior players from Korea.
Lakshya breezes into the last 4.
Joining this elite group is the poster boy of Indian badminton, Lakshya Sen, who has progressed into the last four in the men’s singles competition of the All England Championship 2022.
Lakshay did not need to sweat on the court for the quarterfinal fixture as he got a walkover from his Chinese opponent, Lu Guang Zu. He did not compete in the match owing to an injury he suffered in the last match. Sen, the bronze medalist at the World Championships, has a much-needed break before the semifinal match.
Third Indian to achieve this feat
Lakshya Sen is the third men’s player from India after Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand, who have sailed into the semifinals of the All England Badminton Championships.
Earlier, Prakash Padukone in 1980, 1981 and Pullela Gopichand in 2001 were the only Indian badminton players to have sailed into the All England Open semi-finals. However, both have won this prominent tournament in their illustrious careers.
The next opponent for Lakshya Sen will be either defending champion Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia or former world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan on Saturday. In the singles, Lakshya is now the only hope. PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and Kidambi Srikanth all failed to advance. Their challenge ended in the round of 16.
Lakshya is in tremendous form at the moment. He has bronze in his kitty from the World Championships last year. He recently stunned World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen in the German Open and finished as runner-up. If he plays aggressively, then he could emerge as a surprise package and be triumphant at the All England Open in 2022.
Meanwhile, India’s top-ranked men’s doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, went down to the world’s No. 1 pair, Kevin Sukamuljo and Marcus Gideon of Indonesia.