India's Lakshya Sen continued his run of good performances as he got the better of Leong Jun Hao of Malaysia in straight games to storm into the semifinals while compatriot Kiran George was ousted from the ongoing Thailand Open 2023 badminton championships here on Friday.
Lakshya, who won a bronze medal in the 2021 World Championship, defeated his Malaysian opponent 21-19, 21-11 in the quarterfinals played at Court No.2 at Indoor Stadium Huamark in the Thai capital.
Lakshya entered the semifinals where he will face the winner between Lu Guang Zu of China and Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the semis on Saturday.On the other hand, Kiran George's magical run came to an end with a defeat to Toma Junior Popov of France in the quarterfinals here on Friday,
The 23-year-old Kiran George, who had caused a couple of upsets to reach the last-eight stage of the Thailand Open, went down 16-21, 17-21 in a 41-minute encounter against the 28th-ranked French player at the
Playing against Leong Jun Hao, Lakshya conceded the lead as the players went neck-and-neck till 10-10 before the Malaysian jumped to a 16-10 lead. The 21-year-old Lakshya, a top-10 player who has now slipped to 23rd in the BWF Rankings, fought back to level scores at 17-17 before the Indian eventually won the first game, 21-19.
Things were a bit different in the second game as Lakshya took the early lead and though his Malaysian opponent remained on his heels, Lakshya won eight points in a row from 13-11 to win the game 21-11 and sealed a place in the last four.
Kiran George had defeated third seed Shi Yu Qi of China in the first round and then got the better of another Chinese shuttler, Weng Hong Yang in the pre-quarters.Earlier, playing in a quarterfinal of a BWF World Tour Super 500 event for the first time, Kiran George, the Odisha Open 2022 winner, conceded an early lead as the French player surged to a 5-0 lead.
Though Kiran reduced the margin to 7-6, Popov won the next three points to make it 10-7. The Indian tied the score at 10-10 and after a regular exchange of points, Popov took the lead at 17-14 and though George fought well for the next few points, the French shuttler went on to win the first game 21-16.
The second game was closer as both players fought tooth and nail for each point as the lead exchanged hands a couple of times. Popov gained a narrow lead at 5-3 before George fought back to gain the upper hand at 11-8.
The neck-and-neck fight continued till 17-all before Popov won four points in a row to win the game and the match at 21-17 to clinch a place in the semifinals.He will next face eighth seed Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong, who defeated Malaysia's Ng Tze Yong 21-19, 23-21 in another quarterfinal.