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Saturday, June 15, 2024
HomeOther SportsSatwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty advance to the Thailand Open final

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty advance to the Thailand Open final

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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, India’s top men’s doubles combo, made it to the final of the Thailand Open badminton competition.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty of India advanced to the final of the Thailand Open badminton event with an easy straight-game victory over Chinese Taipei’s Lu Ming-Che and Tang Kai-Wei on Saturday in Bangkok. Satwik and Chirag, the Asian Games gold medalists, needed only 35 minutes to defeat their world No. 80 opponents 21-11 21-12 in the Super 500 competition semifinals at the Nimibutr Stadium. Satwik and Chirag have a strong connection to Thailand, having won their first Super 500 championship here five years ago in 2019. On Saturday, the Indian duo edged closer to reclaiming the crown after reaching the summit clash once more.

After reaching their fourth BWF World Tour final of the season, the Indian pair continued to make waves. Before winning the French Super 750 in March, the tandem placed second in the Malaysia Super 1000 and the India Super 750.

In the final on Sunday, the world number three Indian combination, the top seeds in this competition, will face the Chinese pair of Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi, who overcame South Korea’s Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang 21-19 21-18 in the other semifinal on Saturday.

Chirag and Satwik have had some poor results in the recent several competitions. Due to Satwik’s injury, the Indian duo was unable to compete in the Asia Championships after losing in the second round of the All England Championships. They dropped a few close games to the top couples, therefore their Thomas Cup campaign was also not very successful. Thus, the last performance will be a huge boost before the Olympics in Paris.

Lu and Tang, who played well in spurts but lacked the aggression and accuracy to challenge the Indians, who were a step ahead of their competitors, did not really test Satwik and Chirag on Saturday.

Satwik and Chirag led 3-0 in the first game, but the Taiwanese duo pulled ahead to 5-4 before they began to give up easy points. They went long several times, and mistakes started to creep into their game, giving the Indians an 11-7 advantage going into halftime.

After the restart, nothing changed as the Indians kept gathering points with their deft placements. Chirag scored nine game points at 17-10 after the Chinese were out twice with a powerhouse smash.

The two partners moved from 4-4 to 6-6 to start the second game on a close note. Additionally, Satwik attempted a daring backward pass but missed it. The Chinese took the lead 9–7 early in the game, but Lu and Tang were unable to hold on as a quick and lengthy rally came to an end at the nets.

The Indians led 15–10 and earned 8 match points when the Chinese committed another careless mistake at the net, as Lu and Tang were still having a difficult time.

The two pairs moved from 4–4 to 6–6, setting up a tight start to the second game. Satwik attempted a daring backward pass as well, but his attempt was unsuccessful. As the Chinese concluded a quick and lengthy rally at the nets, they took a 9-7 lead for the first point in the match, but Lu and Tang were unable to hold on.

It was 15-10 in favor of the Indians, who took advantage of another sloppy mistake by the Chinese at the net as Lu and Tang continued to struggle.

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