My focus now is on the final: Lakshya Sen | badminton news

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Lakshya Sen is the man to beat if his recent performances are any indication. Fresh off his victory over world number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the semi-finals of the German Open last week, he dethroned Lee Zii Jia to advance to the final of the English Championships in Birmingham on Saturday. But Lakshya knows his job is not done and he intends to go through with it the next day. Extracts.
After making the All England final at the expense of the defending champion, how do you sum up your feelings at the moment?
I was trying to take it one point at a time and not think I was in the All England semi-finals. These thoughts came, but I’m happy to have won. I will now focus on a good recovery and give my all in tomorrow’s final.
The match was up and down. You had your moments in the first. Lee came back. Where do you think that turned out for you?
In the first match, I had a good length and the lifts all went well. In the second game I made a lot of mistakes on the net, he took the lead early on and it’s hard to cover from there. At the start of game three, I played it safe on the net rather than going too close and tried not to give up easy points.
Did you expect the game to be so undermining?
Yes. When you play against someone like him, or any top player, you set yourself up for anything. I expected it because it’s a crucial tournament and you have to give your best. The rest I got yesterday helped me.
You have always been highly rated since you started playing. Do you think you’ve come of age now that you’re in the All England final?
I still have one game to play. My focus now is on the final. But yeah, it gave me a lot of conviction and kept me going when people said such things. I’m here now.
You held back your offensive game until the end. A particular strategy?
The strategy I had worked on in the first game. The second game was not so bad, but yes, because of my mistakes, I gave up the point. In the end, you give it your all because you can’t give him a chance to attack because he’s one of the best attacking players in the world. But when you’re under pressure, you can push hard. It was clear in my mind. The strategy was completely different in the final points.
You looked a little nervous today…
Obviously, I was nervous. That’s why I tried to play one point at a time.



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