Important to take a break, says Lakshya Sen

Having ended his BWF World Tour title drought after 17 months, the shuttler spoke with this daily about the 'remarkable comeback' in the second game and more.
India’s Lakshya Sen in action during the men’s singles final match against China’s Li Shi Feng at the Canada Open 2023, in Calgary on Monday | ANI
India’s Lakshya Sen in action during the men’s singles final match against China’s Li Shi Feng at the Canada Open 2023, in Calgary on Monday | ANI

CHENNAI:  After the high of the CWG Gold Medal, Lakshya Sen finally won the BWF World Tour title in Canada. In the final, he beat China's Li Shi Feng, the reigning All-England Champion. Having ended his BWF World Tour title drought after 17 months, the shuttler spoke with this daily about the 'remarkable comeback' in the second game, carrying the momentum forward, the influence of his coach Anup Sridhar and why the break he took earlier this year was a necessity. Excerpts:

On his immediate reaction
When I won, I didn't know how to celebrate it. I didn't have anything planned. So it was a relief at that point. But to win that second set and make a good comeback (was satisfying). After the match, when I look back at the tournament, it was a good week for me. All the work that I had put in the last few months is helping me out. It’s a good win, and I would love to carry the momentum in the next tournaments as well.

On overcoming six-point deficit in the second game
I was just trying to focus on one point at a time and not think about the score. He (Li Shi Feng) was under pressure, because of (he needed) one point, and even I was under a lot of pressure. But again, I was just focused on playing the right shots and keeping it very simple. Just playing simple badminton at that time, not to make any easy mistakes or try not to do anything too flashy at that time. And then, take calculated risk at times when it was required.

On confidence from the triumph
Whenever I play against an opponent like this, it gives me a lot of confidence after winning. Especially in the final, it was a very good match, and given he is the reigning All-England Champion, it was a good result for me. This will motivate me to do well in the future and I hope to carry this momentum forward.

On the big events coming up
Yes, I think it's a good tournament for me, but I feel there is a lot more work that I have to put in the next few weeks to see them through. This will give me a lot of confidence in terms of the matches and the match play. I hope to carry this momentum in future tournaments. And again, it's a long tour, it will be important for me to stay fit during all the tournaments, focus on my recovery and focus on playing back-to-back good matches.

On his sabbatical from sport
Yes, I think when we train hard and play tournaments over a couple of months,  it is important for our body to recover as well. It is the time for ourselves to recover, and to do something other than just training or playing or travelling. Once in a while, it's good to give yourself a break and try and think about what else can be done. Clear your head and give time for your body to recover. I felt refreshed and motivated after the break. I take a short break every now and then. I think it is important as I mentioned in that post.

On training with Anup Sridhar
It has been 6-7 months since we started training together. It has been a good mix of training schedule and tournament. We are getting to know each other on and off the court. A lot of the things are very helpful and he can also relate to his playing days. He also shares his experience in certain situations. I think that’s a big help.

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