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Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeOther SportsSatwik-Chirag wins the French Open title

Satwik-Chirag wins the French Open title

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On an unsatisfied pursuit of winningness, next stop: All England.

Satwik and Chirag, coached by Mathias Boe, have prevailed once more in their never-ending quest for victory. The French Open was won without losing a single game.Compulsively winning is one of the most fascinating aspects of sports. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s Boe-ball style of badminton places a high value on winning every point, treating each shot like a dart aimed at the bullseye. Their arrogance and shyness, derring-do and defense, no-holds-barred assault and tightly veiled trickery are all geared toward this insatiable desire to win.

Three finals may be lost in a row in the procedure. And one day, an Olympic gold medal may be won at a canter. But right now, Satwik-Chirag, led by coach Mathias Boe, has won once more. The French Open was won without dropping a set, as Taiwanese Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan were defeated 21-11, 21-17.

“Feel fantastic. But there’s another event next week,” Chirag Shetty said casually to the BWF after winning their second French title, a Super 750 at the Olympic venue. The following tournament, Birmingham, tends to make Indians nervous and nostalgic because it is the All England. But for Satwik-Chirag, it may be as simple as zooming in on the next competition to win. Or, at the very least, Boe-ball would influence their thinking in that direction.

Satwik-Chirag has taken on a slightly different role in Paris this week. They won Korea last season on fast courts, using all-out aggressive approach – the traditional zipping down smashes. In Paris, the weather fluctuated from day to day. However, the Indians simply attacked in new ways, even if the shuttle was not pouring down on the Taiwanese from above.

The offensive openings, or what Boe refers to as “the service situation,” came first. Traditionally a defensive shot in badminton, Satwik-Chirag have a dozen different serve variants in their repertoire, though doubles players have always preferred to add some zing. Chirag is not very agile, but he and Satwik caught Yang-Lee off guard so many times on the way back that the Taiwanese were forced to serve strange and make a lot of mistakes themselves in an attempt to keep up.

Boe demands on aggressive first three shots in an exchange, and the Indians maintained the pressure even as they raced out to a 14-6 lead in the opener. Yang-Lee landed hard, and Satwik later giggled, wondering how opponents felt “when facing Chirag-Satwik.” Nonetheless, the Indian defense remained strong. Chirag has even perfected a high, hefty lift from a deeply defensive posture, which saved Indians time and points by throwing opponents off guard, with some charming harakiri incited along the backline.

Then there’s Chirag’s aggressive surge, which he started at 6-4. The power and speed make it an offensive weapon, but the deceit is what truly determines the winner. His arm appears prepared to spin the shuttle right, but his wrist twirls it to the left, allowing Satwik to finish with a kill into wide space.

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