World No. 17 Lakshya Sen lost to 44th ranked Arnaud Merkle 15-21, 18-21 in 54 minutes. while world No. 22 Kidambi Srikanth lost to 25th-ranked Toma Junior Popov 17-21,15-21 in 44 minutes.
Indian challenge came to end as Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen crashed out in the semifinal of the Japan
Badminton Open at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo on Saturday
World no 13th Indian waged a grim battle before going down 15-21, 21-13, 16-21 to world No. 9 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia
to exit the BWF Super 750 tournament.
This was Lakshya Sen’s second successive semi-final exit. He had also lost in the semifinal of the US Open .
In the opening game, both players engage in quick and short rallies. However, it was Lakshya who held a two-point advantage
heading into the first break. After the restart, fifth seed Christie, raised his game to take the lead to win the game easily..
In the second game, the Indian looked more composed and adopted attacking approach, engaging Christie in longer rallies in an attempt
to force errors out of his rival. His tactics paid off as Lakshya led the game from start to finish and took the match into a decider.
The third game began on level footing but with the score tied at 6-6, Jonatan Christie peeled away to a lead and maintained the advantage
to seal the 68-minute affair. This was Lakshya’s second loss against Christie in three head-to-head meetings.
Earlier, PV Sindhu had bowed out in the first round while HS Prannoy couldn’t get past the quarter-finals Satwiksairaj
Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also exited the men’s doubles competition in the quarters.
Results at the Japan Open counted towards players’ qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics.