April 11, 2024


Day With badminton

Lethal smashes to skillful net game, the making of Lakshya Sen

4 min read

Right after winning the Tokyo Olympics gold, Viktor Axelsen invited 5 shuttlers, which include Lakshya Sen, to spar with him at his new instruction base in Dubai. Dissatisfied at remaining dropped from India’s Thomas Cup squad, Sen made a decision to train with the decide on team and was instantaneously still left in awe of the Dane, who was organising and organizing his sessions, teaching, coaching and restoration without any support.

Amazed by the world No 1’s function ethic, the 20-yr-old made the decision to perform the European leg of the circuit in Oct-November with no any physio or coach. It was only through a few successive tournaments in Bali in November-December that Sen sought assistance soon after gaining a large amount confidence travelling solo.

“He begun participating in at a much improved stage. He realised and understood what all he receives in this article in India. He will get anything here individuals are generally below to help him. (Considering the fact that then) he has grow to be extra liable,” said prolonged-time coach U Vimal Kumar.

Smashing his way to success

In Dubai, Sen dissected Axelsen’s game, notably his smash which is one particular of the most highly effective on the men’s tour. At any time considering that he started off next badminton, the globe No 11 was enchanted by the move. He would keenly observe the stance of the greats, the timing of their jump and the angle at which their racquets would arrive down tricky at the fowl which would get buried at the other stop of the court docket.

“He was amazed with men and women like (Malaysian wonderful) Lee Chong Wei and (2004 Olympic champion) Taufik Hidayat. He used to observe them engage in but has developed a good smash on his possess,” explained Vimal, previously chief nationwide mentor.

Net sport

While he has developed a potent soar smash, ironically it is Sen’s web video game that has grow to be his USP. Realizing the Indian’s power, Axelsen saved Sen away from the net throughout his straight online games victory at the All England final on Sunday. Axelsen lifted nearly each and every web shot to the backcourt, mistaken-footing Sen, who was instinctively making an attempt to arrive at the forecourt.

Sen’s web enjoy nevertheless was in full exhibit throughout his next-round win versus Danish environment No 3 Anders Antonsen, really maybe the most tactical player on the circuit. Sen’s software of drops, dribbles, and deft touches turned the contest in his favour, irritating Antonsen.

“The internet and defence are the two most essential parallels in the singles activity. Lakshya’s been performing on the internet from a very younger age. A good player has to emphasise on dominating the internet place. Lakshya has been taught that,” extra Vimal, a Dronacharya awardee.

“Basically, the work is in superior dribbling at the internet which creates openings and opportunities specifically when the shuttle is quickly. It is an essential requirement for singles players to observe a lot at the internet.”

Increasing defence

In accordance to Vimal, who commenced coaching Sen at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) in Bengaluru a ten years back, Sen’s solitary weak spot was his defence. When underneath pressure, Sen would be frustrated at his inability to retrieve, and make errors following dashing into the details.

Even so, over the earlier 12 months Sen has labored with his coaches to defeat this hurdle. He brought extraordinary modifications to his defence by getting far more patient and just preserving the shuttle in perform, sticking to proportion badminton, even when down in opposition to opponents as noticed in his semi-remaining victory over the defending All England winner Lee Zii Jia.

“I obtain a whole lot of improve in the previous six months. We held telling him the relevance of defence that it plays a very critical purpose. Lakshya realised that. Few of many years again when Morten (Frost) was encouraging him, he also emphasised on this certain element,” stated Vimal.

“It’s excellent that he took these inputs and retained it in his head. That will come with practical experience. All these extended-drawn matches, specifically against defensive players, have assisted him realise what he wants to do, which is how he has transformed.”

Sen concurs. “I have played definitely good badminton constantly, playing at the prime degree. This is what I have to continue to keep doing. Now I know what it is to engage in in big tournaments. I am mentally and physically well prepared for the road in advance,” explained Sen.

Padukone, who 1st identified Sen’s opportunity a decade back throughout a range demo, is not pondering about his loss, expressing that his journey has only started.

“Lakshya has all the traits needed to keep on being a medal contender for the following several several years. He is tricky performing, focussed, disciplined, focused, grounded and most importantly mentally extremely powerful even when enjoying towards players rated increased. He has shown this high quality in abundance primarily in the previous two tournaments,” reported Padukone, the 1st Indian to win the All England title in 1980.

“The recent leg of European tournaments has been really profitable for Lakshya as he has overwhelmed some of the gamers ranked within just the leading-5. This reveals that his World Championship bronze was no fluke. Over the past 6 months, he has been one particular of the most steady performers. This is in no way an straightforward task, especially for a youngster like Lakshya. He’ll most surely split into the prime-10 when the entire world rankings are announced this week.”

In the meantime, an “exhausted” Sen has resolved to skip this week’s Swiss Open up and will future engage in the Korea Open in April.

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