In the German Open 2022 men's singles final in Mulheim on Sunday, Lakshya Sen lost to Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn. Having won the India Open Super 500 title in January Sen was in pursuit of his second BWF title of the year, but lost 21-18, 21-15 against Thailand's upcoming player Vitidsarn.
Following an impressive victory in the semi-finals, Sen, the world No. 12 in the current badminton rankings, and Vitidsarn, the world No. 20, came into the match full of confidence. In the top four matches, Vitidsarn defeated world No. 7 and defending All England champion Lee Zii Jia in straight games, while Sen made an unexpected comeback to defeat Tokyo Olympics gold medalist and world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen.
There was little to differentiate the two potential prospects in previous head-to-heads, either. Lakshya Sen and Vitidsarn have each won three bouts in their previous six meetings.
Sen got off to a shaky start in the match, as Vitidsarn, a three-time junior world champion, outplayed the Indian in the early exchanges and took a five-point advantage at the first intermission.
After the resumption, the Indian improved and continued to chip away at his Thai opponent's advantage, but Vitidsarn's early momentum was enough to carry him through the opening game. Sen had to take a break at the end of the first game to get medical treatment for blisters on his foot.
In the second game, the Indian shuttler's mobility was obviously hampered, and with Vitidsarn putting up a strong performance of his own, Lakshya Sen struggled to get back into the match despite his best attempts.
The Thai player dominated from start to end, winning the match and the championship in just 57 minutes.
The All England Open 2022, which begins on March 16, would be the next opportunity for Indian shuttlers to compete.