Lakshya Sen's dream run at the All England Championships ended with a heartbreaking straight-game loss against world number one and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in the men's singles final, continuing India's 21-year-long agonising wait for the coveted trophy.

After four days of sensational badminton, the 20-year-old Sen faltered on the cusp of history as he committed too many errors to go down 10-21 15-21 to former champion Axelsen in a lop-sided summit clash that lasted 53 minutes

On Saturday, Sen had become only the fifth Indian after Prakash Nath (1947), Prakash Padukone (1980, 1981), Pullela Gopichand (2001) and Saina Nehwal (2015) to reach the final of the prestigious tournament after outwitting defending champion Lee Zii Jia in a gruelling semifinal.

Return favour

A week back, Sen had recorded his first win over former world champion Axelsen en route to his final appearance at the German Open but he couldn't sustain his craft on Sunday as his highly-fancied rival returned the favours, claiming his fifth overall win against the Indian.

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in action during the men’s singles final against India’s Lakshya Sen

Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in action during the men’s singles final against India’s Lakshya Sen | Photo Credit: Reuters

While 2020 winner Axelsen claimed the men's singles title for the second time, Japan's Akane Yamaguchi won the women's singles crown, beating South Korea's An Seyoung 21-15 21-15 in the final.

Despite the loss, it has been a creditable performance for Sen, who is still in his early days in elite-level badminton.

A product of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru, Sen has been in sensational form in the last six months.

He secured his maiden world championships bronze in December last, before winning his first Super 500 title at India Open in January and finishing runner-up at the German Open last week.

India laudes Lakshya’s effort

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed shuttler Lakshya Sen for putting up a spirited fight after he lost the final of the All England Championships, and expressed confidence that he would keep scaling new heights of success.

Many Indians lauded the 20 year-old lad’s effort in the All England badminton open championships final.

PM Modi tweeted

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar

Industrialist Anand Mahindra

Rahul Gandhi