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Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun register first top-10 win

Badminton World Championships: Men's doubles duo of Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun caused a huge upset by ousting 2021 BWF Worlds bronze medallists and 8th seeds Kim Astrup/Anders Rasmussen. This is their first win over a top-10 ranked duo.

MR Arjun Dhruv Kapila

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila at the BWF World Championships 2022


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 25 Aug 2022 2:17 AM GMT

Causing the biggest upset of their career so far, Indian men's doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila put up a clinical show in the second round of the BWF World Championships 2022 in Tokyo as they defeated the eighth-seeded Danish duo of Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, 21-17, 21-16 in 40 minutes.

With this victory, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila have secured their very first Top-10 win of their careers.

"We just had a plan," said Dhruv Kapila.

The plan, according to Arjun, consisted of being racket-ready for a lot of defensive returns even off low-quality shots, so the priority was to just get the shuttle across.

Playing the superior game for the better section of the match and holding the lead - a glaring 5-point gap at one instance too, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila looked like two men on a mission against the seasoned and veteran Danish pair. Attacking with great spirit, Arjun and Dhruv kept calm throughout the match and played smart shots that left the Danes a little flabbergasted in some of the points, causing them to err at certain points.

"(Coach) Mathias told us it's going to be a 50-50 situation throughout the match where there's not going to be a quality stroke; everything is going to come into the racket. So if you're not ready in the racket, you're going to lose points. But then if you are ready, even if you play a bad quality stroke, it's not going to be very aggressive from the other side. So our focus was to just to get the shuttle across (the net). So even if you don't play a quality dip or something like that, they're going to be defensive, because they are one of the best defensive pairs in the circuit. They always try to defend.

"The new shuttles are travelling faster. After one or two rallies it opens up. Even while smashing if you slice it a little bit, you can't judge the pace of the shuttle. The conditions are slower."

Bronze medallists from the 2021 World Championships, Kim and Rasmussen were the overwhelming favourites in this match but the Indians really sprang a surprise as Mathias Boe, the doubles coach to the Indian team and former teammates with fellow Dane shuttlers Kim and Rasmussen, egged on Dhruv and Arjun from the sidelines.

"I feel like if we have a great plan, if we know what we have to do, then I didn't feel like we're playing such a good pair. I was just ready. I was not thinking about who we were playing. We just had a plan."

Playing a very solid and clean match with Dhruv's service being highly crucial as was his creative deception in some points, the Indian duo were in perfect sync and have now progressed into the pre-quarters where they will face Singapore's Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean for a place in the last eight.

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