Young Lakshya Sen came up with a lion-hearted effort against World No. 5 Kunlavut Vitidsarn but it was not enough to help him reach his maiden final on the BWF tour. Lakshya fluffed the advantage of having won the opening game to go down to Kunlavut in 3 games (13-21, 21-17, 21-13) and crash out in the semi-final of Thailand Open, a Super 500 tournament in Bangkok.

Lakshya Sen showcased incredible court coverage and accuracy in the opening game as he hit his winners at will and made life difficult for Kunlavut with his steely defence. Lakshya took the opening game 21-17 to silence the vocal home crowd, which was backing the young Kunlavut.

Lakshya looked calm and composed so much so that he played a fancy shot at the net that stunned his opponent and the crowd. The Indian shuttler, who has dipped below No. 20 in the BWF rankings due to his inconsistent run over the last few months, was leading 17-15 in the second game and looked like wrapping up the match in

straight games.

However, Kunlavut found another gear and took the second game 21-17 to force a decider. Lakshya, it seemed, just lost control momentarily as he struggled to execute simple returns. The noise from the home crowd in Bangok went through the roof as Kunlavut staged an incredible comeback.

However, Lakshya found the resolve to stay in the contest once again. After a slow start to the deciding game, he raced to a 10-6 lead only to allow Kunlavut back into the contest.

The two shuttlers put on a show of high-quality badminton in the final game but Kunlavut raced ahead for win in an hour and 15 minutes.

It was the first semi-final appearance for Lakshya Sen who took a brief break from competitive action after the ordinary start to the year. Lakshya may have missed the final berth, but a run to the last-four in Thailand should boost his confidence in the Olympic qualification cycle, which began in May.
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