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India Open: Satwik-Chirag cruises into final with dominating victory

Satwik and Chirag annihilated Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in straight games to reach the final. However, it was the curtain for Asian Games bronze medallist HS Prannoy, who lost to former India Open winner Shi Yuqi.

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy Badminton

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Source: BAI) 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 Jan 2024 9:35 AM GMT

World no.2 men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy recorded a stellar victory in what was a repeat of their Asian Game semifinal win against Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia at the India Open Super 750 at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, in New Delhi on Saturday.

The Indian pair secured a 21-18, 21-14 win against Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Chia and Wooi Yik and progressed to the final of the India Open, organised by the Badminton Association of India.

The first game was a neck-to-neck affair with both pairings operating at their absolute best. With the game tied at 17-17, Chirag-Satwik scored three straight points to surge ahead and take the lead in the match.

The Malaysian pair came back strongly in the second game, earning a 10-6 advantage.

But, Satwik and Chirag, the Commonwealth Games 2022 gold medallists, mounted a comeback and scored five straight points to overturn a 10-13 deficit. From that point, the top Indian men's doubles duo dominated their opponents by winning 11 of the last 12 points to register their third straight win over Chia and Woo Yik, who are yet to win against the Indians since their defeat in the Indonesia Open Super 1000 final last year.

Satwik-Chirag, the winner of the India Open in 2022, will face reigning world champions Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae of South Korea in the final on Sunday.

Expressing his thoughts on the win, Chirag Shetty said, "It was a good win today. Going into the match, we knew that it will be a tough game because we always had some really close games. But luckily in the end, we stayed calm and eventually won."

He also hailed the supportive home crowd who stayed back at the venue even though the match was played late in the cold winter evening.

"The crowd support has been tremendous. It feels really, special and I hope to see many more people coming in huge numbers tomorrow as well. Last year, we couldn't complete the tournament, but this time playing in the final, against the Koreans who are a formidable duo, definitely it will be a good match. We aim for the title," added Chirag.

HS Prannoy in action against World No. 2 SHI Yu Qi of China

In the men’s singles semifinals, World Championships bronze medallist HS Prannoy was outclassed by world no. 2 Shi Yuqi of China. Prannoy lost 15-21, 5-21.

The two shuttlers were closely matched in the first game. However, after Prannoy levelled the score at 14-14 after winning a 37-shot rally, his Chinese opponent broke away to claim six of the last seven points to win the first game.

With his smooth movement and efficient smashes, Shi, an Asian Games 2022 silver medallist, maintained his tempo in the second game to seal a dominating victory and reach his second successive final in consecutive weeks.

Shi will face Hong Kong’s Lee Chuek Yiu, who stunned 2023 World Championships silver medallist Kodai Naraoka of Japan in a thrilling 21-13, 15-21, 21-19 win, in the final.

Earlier, Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Chen Yu Fei of China and silver medallist Tai Tzu-Ying of Chinese Taipei registered comprehensive victories to set up a highly anticipated women’s singles final.

World no.2 Chen was at the top of her game as she prevailed 21-13, 21-18 against compatriot Wang Zhi Yi while fourth seed Tai Tzu-Ying defeated Yeo Jia Min of Singapore 21-13, 21-18 in 37 minutes.

Chinas Chen Yu Fie in action against compatriot Wang Zhi Yi

In women’s doubles, Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara of Japan overcame Hangzhou Asian Games silver medallists Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee of South Korea 21-13, 21-16.

They will take on World Championships 2023 bronze medallists Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu of China who defeated compatriots Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan 19-21, 21-17, 21-18.

In mixed doubles, former World champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand recorded a hard-fought 18-21, 21-15, 21-19 win over Ye Hong Wei and Lee Chia Hsin of Chinese Taipei.

Reigning Asian Champions Jiang Zhen Bang and Wei Ya Xin of China will take on the Thai pair in the final after packing off Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun of South Korea 21-19, 21-18.

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