Lakshya Sen dispatched Malaysian striker Li Zi Jia 21-17, 21-13 from Indonesia Open. After the defeat, Lee told the BWF that he was taking a temporary break from badminton. The decision comes at the end of a fifth consecutive week of play – the Sudirman Cup, Malaysia Masters, Thailand Open, Singapore Open and now the tour’s biggest event, the Indonesia Super 1000.

The match saw two men fall foul, but Sen remained the more focused of the two. Lee experienced bouts of lapse of focus and said it much later.

“I think for the moment I’ll probably quit badminton temporarily. I don’t know how long it’ll take, but I’ll leave badminton until I get motivated again. I’ll take a break and rest for a while,” he told the BWF. “Maybe I’ll stop playing tournaments. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. It’s too much for me on the court. I can’t focus 100 percent. It would be good for me to take a break. The priority is to find my passion on the court. I did well.” in the Sudirman Cup but I didn’t do much differently after that.”

Sen, who beat Lee in the All England but lost to him in the Thomas Cup, knew what to expect: the Malaysian is powerful at the net, doing the spinning dribble that makes up his midfield stroke. O, seeded 21, is equipped. “He played well with a consistent strategy today,” said coach Anoop Sridhar. “Against Chou Tien Chen last week, he wasn’t changing the pace from the back of the court. He did better today.”

Sen was hitting straight shots and slash returns as well as straight shots on the lines well in the opener, before falling behind 10-13 and 12-15. But Sen stuck to his strategy, and slowed the pace after that. It was up to 16-16, as Lee fell into disarray, making mistakes amid smashing winners. At 20-17, with a tight net exchange, Lee served one long, and the next miss meant Sen had the set at 21-17.

Li looked down and unfocused in the second set, as Sen led 12-3, before the Malaysian fired several counters. He would come close to 15-11 with his strokes, but the lead was too big and Sen went for a power kill at 19-12. On the final point, Lee got carried away, and proceeded to tell the BWF that he was taking a break.

Sen next plays Kidambi Srikanth, who beat China’s Lu Guang Zhou, 21-13, 21-19, but not without some heartwarming reminders last week in Singapore. He’s gone from leading 19-12 to losing 21-19 to Shea in that time. Leading 18-11 against Lu in the second half, he allowed the Chinese to reach 19-19 before closing out the set, alleviating his fears of a re-knocking out of Singapore.

India will have an emphatic quarter-final and four in the last 16, with HS Pranoy and Priyanshu Rajawat, the latter after receiving a walk-off from Konlavut Vettedarn.


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