China Open 2019: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty loses in the semi-finals

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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty      Credit: India Today 

The Indian challenge in the China Open ended in the semi-finals as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting to world number one Indonesian pair of Marcus Gideon and Sukamuljo in two straight sets by 16-21, 20-22.

It was an impressive start by the young Indian pair, who went toe to toe with the World number one pair with aggressive stroke play and gave them a tough fight. At the interval, Gideon and Sukamuljo took a 11-9 lead. After the interval, Satwik and Chirag committed lot of errors on the net, which led to the Indian pair losing the first set at 16-21. 

In the second game, the young Indian pair proved their worth with smash shots and took alternate points. Leading 10-8 at one time, the World number one pair levelled the score at 10-10. 

At the interval, the Indonesian pair took a slender 11-10 lead. After the interval, it was an amazing display of badminton by both pairs as they looked to take the advantage away from each other. 

Again, the Indian pair led 20-18, before the Indonesian pair took four points in succession to win the second set at 22-20 to knock the Indian pair out of the tournament. 

After reaching the finals of French Open, Satwik and Chirag have improved as a doubles pair. In this tournament, they started by defeating P. Chew and R. Chew of Malaysia in two straight sets by 21-9, 21-15. 

In the second round, Satwik and Chirag Shetty stunned the sixth seed Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe in three sets by 21-18, 21-23, 21-11 to move into the quarterfinals. They again proved their worth by winning against Li JH and Liu YC of China in two straight sets by 21-19, 21-15 to move into the semi-finals. 

It was a disappointing tournament for Indians in Fuzhou China Open. PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap, all lost in the first round. The men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy and women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy also lost in the first round itself. 

Whereas, Sai Praneeth and the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and RankiReddy lost in the second round of the prestigious tournament. 

Cover image credits: DNA

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