Lakshya Sen beat Shi Feng to win the Canada Open 2023 title

Indian star shuttler Lakshya Sen won his first title of the year as he stormed back into form in some style winning the Canada Open title on Sunday in Calgary. The Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Sen, who has endured a tough 2023, got the better of the All England champion Li Shi Feng of China in straight games 21-18, 22-20. The victory marks Lakshya’s second BWF World Tour title, having already won the India Open in January 2022.

Lakshya currently ranked no.19 had to dig deep to defeat the World No.4 Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand 21-18, 21-15 in the Round of 32. And in the second round, the young Indian shuttler outclassed Brazil’s Ygor Coelho de Oliveira in straight games. Lakshya was made to work much harder by his German opponent Julien Carraggi in the Third round but triumphed 21-8, 17-21, 21-10. He then secured a commanding win over Japan’s Kento Nishimoto, world number 11, in the semifinal to enter his second Super 500 final and first BWF summit clash in over a year.

Lakshya had undergone nose surgery for a deviated septum after the World Championships last August and took a lot of time to recover post-treatment. His last final appearance was at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in August last year. After a series of early exits from tournaments, he showed signs of recovery when he reached the semifinals of the Thailand Open.

Sen was trailing 16-20 in the second set before he kept his calm and won six points in a row to finally end a title drought. This was Sen’s second BWF Super 500 title win after last year’s India Open triumph. World No. 19, Sen started the summit clash well and maintained his lead throughout the first set. Shi Feng did challenge him on a couple of occasions but he didn’t let advantage slip and eventually won the first set 21-18.

However, the World No. 10, Shi Feng, came back strongly in the second set and was on the verge of making it 1-1 at 16-20 as Sen had fallen behind by just a touch. But Sen wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip on the night as he saved four games points to eventually win the second set 22-20 as he fell to the ground. It has been a tough year for the Commonwealth Games champion and it meant a lot to him. Sen quickly gathered himself to soak in the applause as he finally had a world title to his name in 2023. Sen will next feature in the US Open, starting July 11.