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Badminton World Tour Finals 2021: Satwik-Chirag pulls out before awaited clash with The Minions

Citing Satwik Rankireddy's knee trouble and the need to rest and recuperate, Indian men's doubles badminton duo of Satwik-Chirag withdrew from the World Tour Finals.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty

Indian badminton men's doubles duo Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (Source: Badminton Photo)


Sohinee Basu

Updated: 2 Dec 2021 6:25 AM GMT

In an unfortunate but necessary turn of events, the Indian men's doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty withdrew from the ongoing Badminton World Tour Finals 2021 before their second group stage match against the World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo of Indonesia. The badminton schedule has been hectic and jam-packed over the last couple of months with back-to-back tournaments allowing no appropriate time for rest and recovery. The decision of Satwik-Chirag, who had become the first Indian men's doubles pair ever to qualify for the season-ending tournament, was needed as Satwik cited injury reasons - a 'niggle in the knee' for this withdrawal.

The signs of the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist pair not being at their A-level was pretty apparent in their opening group stage match against the Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, where they haplessly lost in 40 minutes, 21-16, 21-5. Even if Satwik-Chirag put up a strong fight in the first game, the second game was a blink-and-you-miss, erroneous and chaotic affair from the Indian pair as the Danes took full advantage of their higher-ranked opponents, caught on an off day.

Given that performance, this decision of Satwik-Chirag is not very surprising as Satwik did display signs of struggle with his movement - as he has done for most of the Indonesia leg of the BWF tour.

"Actually Satwik has been having knee pain for a couple of weeks now. We didn't really have the time to rest it so he had to play with it. We have decided to rest it now so that we can be ready for world championships," Chirag told PTI. "The injury hampers his movement so we decided better to rest it for a couple of days. Because worlds is more important," added the 24-year-old from Mumbai.

Asked how Satwik sustained the injury, Chirag said: "He had this since the Olympics but it resurfaced again."

With the upcoming Badminton World Championships due to begin from the 12th of December at Huelva, Spain, Satwik-Chirag decided to take the wise call of withdrawing from the World Tour Finals before stressing the body out in rigorous matches. Had Satwik-Chirag played today, they would have had to lock horns with The Minions from Indonesia, and with a 10-0 losing record against them, things wouldn't have been easy also to continue in this Group of Death draw.

We hope this time off the court gives this duo the much-needed break to rest and recuperate and return to their A-game again, in time for the World Championships in mid-December.

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