As India displayed their strength to defeat Singapore 3-0 and advance to the mixed team final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Monday, Lakshya Sen outwitted the current world champion Loh Kean Yew.
With a 21-11, 21-12 victory against Yong Kai Terry Hee and Andu Jun Kian Kwek in the men’s doubles semifinal, Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty gave India the advantage.
P V Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medalist, defeated Jia Min Yeo, who was ranked 19th, with a 21-11, 21-12 victory to give India a 2-0 lead.
The most anticipated match of the semi-final was the third contest between Sen and Loh, the 10th-ranked Indian taking on the 9th-ranked Singaporean.
Sen, who increased his lead over Loh in their head-to-head matchup to 4-2, gambled and won.
The Indian disrupted Loh’s rhythm by striking with a powerful forehand. As Loh established a 4-0 lead in the first game, Sen got off to a poor start.
After a lengthy really, with Loh unsure of whether to leave it or hit it, he came back to tie the score at six.
A narrow 11-10 lead held by the Indians at the half was increased to 14-10 by two unforced errors from Loh’s racket. He made it 16-10 by coming back with a strong smash on Loh’s forehand.
Sen took the lead in the game when the Singaporean scored despite Loh closing the distance.
Even though the second game was a difficult struggle, Sen always kept the advantage and won the match.
“We played well against him. I was prepared for today. Today, the strategy worked. Sen thanked the boisterous Indian supporters at the NEC venue after the game and expressed his happiness that India was back in the final.