Lakshya Sen lost in the final to world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen, but he became the first Indian man to earn a silver medal in 21 years at the All-England Open Badminton Championships 2022. The 20-year-old Lakshya Sen was competing in his maiden BWF Super 1000 final. Axelsen defeated him 21-10, 21-15.
Axelsen won the All England Open for the second time, and he reached the final for the fourth time in a row. Meanwhile, Sen was facing the Dane for the second time this season. After being beaten four times before, the Indian badminton player upset Axelsen in the German Open semi-finals earlier this month.
Axelsen, unlike in their previous encounter at the German Open, calmed early in the game and stormed to a 6-0 lead.
He used his reach and placement well to go into the break leading 11-2. Lakshya Sen had a few smashes and played extended rallies, but Viktor Axelsen utilized his reach and placement effectively to go into the break leading 11-2.
After Lakshya Sen's defensive tactic failed, a shift in strategy allowed the Indian to earn a few crucial points towards the end. Viktor Axelsen, on the other hand, easily won the opening game.
In the second game, Viktor Axelsen, who had yet to lose a game in this season, was matched in the early exchanges by Lakshya Sen.
Viktor Axelsen negated Lakshya Sen's aggressive game with a polished combination of attack and defense to win seven of the next eight points after the game was level at 4-4.
When Axelsen was ahead 17–11, Lakshya Sen performed a 70-shot rally. The young Indian, on the other hand, was soundly defeated by his elder opponent.
Despite the defeat, Lakshya Sen equaled the achievements of Saina Nehwal and his guru Prakash Padukone, who achieved silver medals in their respective singles competitions in 1981 and 2015. Prakash Nath had also reached the final during the amateur period in 1947.
Only two Indians have won the title: Prakash Padukone in 1980 and Pullela Gopichand in 2001.
Lakshya has only lost two of her previous 17 bouts since earning bronze at the World Championships in December.
Lakshya Sen won the India Open in January, defeating defending world champion Loh Kean Yew, and finished second at the German Open in March.
Despite a difficult draw, Lakshya Sen defeated world No. 3, Anders Antonsen, in the second round, and world No. 7 Lee Zii Jia in the semi-finals at the All England Open.
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, daughter of Pullela Gopichand, made history earlier this year by being the first Indian women's doubles duo to reach the All-England Open semi-finals.
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, both Olympic medalists from India, were eliminated in the second round.
The next opportunity for Indian badminton players to compete will be in the Swiss Open, which will begin on March 22.