Opening day delight for India’s Lakshya Sen in Dutch Open

The youngster survived two closely fought games against Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen to win his first-round fixture. 

By Saurabh Shankar ·

India’s Lakshya Sen fought back in both games of his first-round clash in the 2019 Dutch Open Super 100 Series, to win 21-19, 21-17 against Irish shuttler Nhat Nguyen. Sen will now face Cuba’s Osleni Guerrero in the next round of the competition.

Close games

Lakshya Sen, who is one of India’s brightest prospects for the future, had to dig deep against his Irish counterpart to ensure he triumphed in the clash. The Indian was trailing at crucial junctures but held his nerve to win in straight games.

In the first game, both shuttlers were neck-to-neck for most of the contest, with Nguyen narrowly leading as the tie reached its climax. However, Sen replied with a couple of smart smashes and took the game 21-19.

The second game was also closely fought, with the tie finely poised at three points apiece before the Indian picked four points on the trot. However, Nguyen drew level and soon took the lead with a few leaping smashes that found no answer. The Irishman was leading the tie 17-14, looking destined to win the game but Sen had other plans.

The youngster picked up seven points on the trot, forcing Nguyen to play a few poor shots as he won the second game 21-17 to continue his charge in the Dutch Open.

India’s Manjunath Mithun though was foiled in the first round by French shuttler Leo Rossi, who won the tie 15-21, 21-12, 21-10.

George, Bharadwaj win qualification games

Earlier in the day, India’s Kiran George and Rahul Bharadwaj prevailed with commanding wins in the qualification round to make the cut for the main draw of the 2019 Dutch Open.

Bharadwaj was most impressive en route to defeating his English opponent Hin Shun Wong in straight games 21-7, 21-7. The young Indian needed just 22 minutes to win the qualification match as he managed to get early leads in both his games against the Englishman, comfortably winning in the process.

He followed it up with a resolute performance against China’s Ren Pengbo in the first round. The Indian battled for more than an hour and came back from a game down to seal the match 10-21, 21-19, 21-11 to set up a clash against Malaysia’s Cheam June Wei.

George was also at his best in his qualification game, winning against local lad Aram Mahmoud in two closely contested games, ending on the victorious side of a 21-15, 21-19 scoreline. He will now face top seed and fellow compatriot, Sameer Verma in the second round after George’s opponent Gergely Krausz was forced to retire early on in their game.