New Zealand Open: India's Lakshya Sen goes down fighting to Lin Dan; B Sai Praneeth enters quarters
Up against Lin Dan, Lakshya gave a fantastic account of himself by pocketing the first game but eventually lost out on experience. Sai Praneeth will next face Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka
Auckland: Teenage shuttler Lakshya Sen reaffirmed his status as one of India's promising rising talents as he gave legendary Lin Dan a scare before losing in three games at the Auckland Open Badminton Championship on Thursday.
Up against two-time Olympic champion Dan, 17-year-old Lakshya gave a fantastic account of himself by pocketing the first game but eventually lost out on experience.
The Chinese calmly clawed back into the game to win the encounter 15-21, 21-15, 21-12 in a marathon second round men's singles match that lasted one hour and seven minutes.
"Good Match against the Legend Lin Dan......gave my best shot!! have realised that I still have a long way to go!! I would like to thank all the coaches of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, OGQ, SAI for their support," Lakshya tweeted after the match.
Third-seeded B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma, however, won their respective matches in straight games to enter the quarter-finals.
Sai Praneeth defeated Malaysia's Darren Liew 21-18, 21-7, while fifth seed Sameer Verma got the better of Cheuk Yiu Lee of Hong Kong 21-17, 21-19 to seal their last eight berths.
The other Indian male shuttler Ajay Jayaram lost to Kwang Hee Heo of Korea 21-15, 20-22, 6-21 in another marathon second-round match.
Sai Praneeth will next face Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka but Verma will have a tough task at hand against Lin Dan,
Men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, seeded fifth, also entered the quarter-final round with a 21-9, 21-12 win over Thailand's Pakin Kuna-Anuvit and Natthapat Trinkajee.
But women's doubles combination of Meghana Jakkampudi and S Ram Poorvisha crashed out in the second round, losing 5-21, 6-21 against top seeds Della Destiara Haris and Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia.
It was also curtains for India in the mixed doubles event with the pairs of Shivam Sharma-Poorvisha and Rohan Kapoor-Kuhoo Garg losing in the second round.
While Shivam and Poorvisha lost 16-21, 14-21 against eight seed Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh of Malaysia, Kuhoo and Rohan were shown the door by top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand 11-21, 11-21.
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