Thursday, June 20, 2024

Satwik-Chirag duo keeps India’s flag flying in Swiss Open, enters men’s doubles final

File Photo: India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, center, and Chirag Shetty.

File Photo: India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, center, and Chirag Shetty.
| Photo Credit: SHUJI KAJIYAMA

The dynamic doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty overcame a mid-game slump to keep India’s flag flying by entering the men’s doubles final of the Swiss Open Super Series 300 badminton event here on Saturday.

The world number six and second seeded Indian pair defeated third seeds Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi of Malaysia 21-19 17-21 21-17 in an enthralling semifinal that lasted one hour and nine minutes.

Satwik and Chirag, the 2022 World Championships bronze medallist, will play unseeded Chinese pair of Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang in the summit clash on Sunday.

By virtue of this win, Satwik and Chirag had drawn level 3-3 with Ong and Teo in head-to-head record.

Earlier, Satwik and Chirag defeated the Danish pair of Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede in three hard-fought games.

The Indian pair fought off the challenge in 54 minutes, winning 15-21 21-11 21-14.

The victory came after a hard-fought 84-minute quarter-final battle.

Satwik and Chirag are the only Indian contenders left in a tournament where the likes of PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen suffered early defeats.

In the quarterfinal, the Indian pair didn’t have a great start as it lost the first game easily at 15-21. The duo did pull things up in the middle of the game, reducing the deficit to just one point as it trailed 15-16.

However, the Danish pair won six consecutive points to wrap up the first game with ease.

The Indian pair picked up the tempo in the second game and quickly got a seven-point cushion at the halfway break. They extended the lead to 10 points by the time parity was restored.

The third game started on an even keel but the Indians were fantastic at the net as they first got an 11-7 lead and then maintained a seven-point advantage till the end of the match to enter the last-four in style.

A tournament win will be a good comeback for the pair after a disappointing early round exit at the All England Championships.

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