Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty making a mark in Men’s doubles for India
The young Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting to Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamujlio in the final of French Open.
Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty could not get off to a perfect start as the World number one pair did not allow the Indian pair to play with aggressive intent and took a 7-1 lead.
The Indian pair fought back strongly to make a match out of it and levelled the score at 10-10. At the interval, Gideon and Sukamujlio had a slender 11-10 lead.
After the interval, the Indian pair showed great fighting spirit to level the scores at 17-17 with smart play by Rankireddy with able support from Chirag.
Indonesia pair took 3 points in succession to lead 20-17. The Indian pair saved one match point but committed an error to hand the first game to World number 1.
Again, in the second game, the Indians started off slowly before levelling the scores at 6-6. The two pairs went toe to toe till 10-10 before the Indonesian pair took a 11-10 lead at the interval.
From 12-12 onward, Marcus and Kevin took 6 points in succession to make it 18-13. The Indian pair could not match the speed of the Indonesians and lost the game and match at 16-21.
This is the first time that an Indian doubles pair reached and ultimately win a BWF Super 750 tournament.
The unseeded pair of Satwiksairaj RankiReddy and Chirag Shetty played some superb badminton in the French Open tournament. In the first round, they defeated J. Maas and R. Tabeling of Netherlands in two straight sets at 21-16, 21-14.
It was a sensational performance by the young Indian pair as they defeated the World Champions, Mohammad Ashan and Hendra Setiawan in the next round. They were superb with their smash shots, which stunned the World number two pair.
In the quarterfinals, RankiReddy and Chirag defeated European champions, Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen by 21-13, 22-20. It was a dominating performance by the young Indian pair, who won the first set easily. In the second game, both pairs fought neck to neck, but the Indians held their nerve to win the game and match at 22-20.
They proved their worth again by stunning the 5th seed Hiryouki Endo and Yuti Watanbe in the semifinals. It was a brilliant performance by the Indian pair who were brilliant in the first game. In the second game, it was a close fight but the Indian pair came out victorious.
Chirag and Rankireddy came into limelight after winning the Super 500 Thailand Open 2019 played this year. In that tournament too, they had defeated some top ranked players which included F. Alfian and Aridanto of Indonesia.
After winning their maiden Super 500 tournament, the young pair moved up to number nine in the Worlds doubles rankings. Chirag and RankiReddy have improved a lot and have shown that they are not to be taken lightly.
If the young pair can continue their impressive performances, they can easily qualify for the Olympics and maybe win a medal for the country.
Cover image credits: India Today