India’s top men’s doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty advanced to the semi-finals of Thailand Open, making it the appearance of a first-ever double by any Indian shuttler in 3 BWF World Tour 500 and above Events on Friday.
The World No 16 doubles pair advanced to the semi-final of Thailand Open as they showed nerves of steel to defeat 21-17, 17-21, 21-19 the South Korean pair of Choi Solgyu and Seo Sueng Jae.
The Indian duo took little over an hour to complete the match and reach the first semi-final of 2019 on the BWF World Tour circuit. They have won Brazil International Challenge earlier and reached the semis at Denmark Challenge.
On Friday, Satwik-Chirag kept a steady lead against their South Korean opponents to take the first game with ease. The second game, however, saw the South Koreans change their strategy. Choi-Seo started playing lot straighter and flatter and that ensured a strong come back to take the second game 21-17. The Indians made a strong comeback in the third game. With sharp anticipation skills at the net and brilliant steep smashes from the Indian pair ensured a 21-19 win, after being levelled 19-19 in the last game.
Talking after the match Satwik said;
After upsetting the world No.7 pair of Indonesia's Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the Round of 16 on Thursday, Satwik-Chirag were the favourites in the quarter-finals, as they were up against the pair ranked 27 in the world.
Satwik and Chirag will now take on another South Korean pair - Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol as the singles challenge ended with Sai Praneeth loosing to seventh seed Kanta Tsuneyama 18-21, 12-21 and mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwikranki Reddy lost to yet another Japanese pair and third seed Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino 13-21; 15-21. Satwik and Ashwini had created an upset on Wednesday when they defeated reigning Olympic Silver medallist in Thailand.