Sofia: A day after turning 16, Lakshya Sen won his second senior international badminton tournament, beating Zvonimir Durkinjak 18-21, 21-12, 21-17 in 57 minutes to win the Eurasia Bulgarian Open in Sofia, Bulgaria on Thursday. Sen’s first senior title was at last year’s India International Series.
Sen, currently the top-ranked junior men’s singles player but only 167th in the senior category, was unseeded for the tournament in Bulgaria. Despite being the youngest player in the draw, he had upset higher-ranked players including top-seeded Sam Parsons (World No. 90) in the first round. The win against Durkinjak (World No. 102) was preceded by one against Dinuka Karunaratne (World No. 171) in the semifinals. His three-game victory over Durkinjak was the second time he came back from a game down in the tournament. He had won his quarterfinal match 20-22, 21-18, 21-15 against Michal Rogalski.
On Lakshya’s remarkable achievement, his coach Vimal Kumar said, “It is a creditable achievement for Lakshya. He is still a junior but he has been able to win tournaments and that is a good sign. We had sent five players on a 10-day training trip with the French national team. He trained under the great Peter Gade and it has benefitted him.”