Satwik-Chirag Surge to Thailand Open Men's Doubles Final

India's top men's doubles team, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, reached the Thailand Open final after defeating Lu Ming-Che and Tang Kai-Wei. They continue their strong run on the BWF World Tour, aiming for another Super 500 title. The duo will face China's Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi in the final.

PTI | Bangkok | Updated: 18-05-2024 19:12 IST | Created: 18-05-2024 19:12 IST
Satwik-Chirag Surge to Thailand Open Men's Doubles Final
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India's premier men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty entered the final of the Thailand Open badminton tournament with an easy straight-game victory over Lu Ming-Che and Tang Kai-Wei of Chinese Taipei here on Saturday.

The Asian Games champions needed just 35 minutes to beat their world No. 80 opponents 21-11 21-12 in the semifinal match of the Super 500 tournament at the Nimibutr Stadium.

Satwik and Chirag have fond memories in Thailand where they had won their maiden Super 500 crown in 2019. On Saturday, the Indian pair inched closer to annexing another title.

''It has already been a good tournament for us. We wanted to play more tournaments to get the rhythm back. We always love playing in Thailand, there is a special bond here. We won our first medal, we won Thomas Cup here, and now one more final here. It's really amazing,'' Satwik said.

''We wanted to go deep into the tournament and we have been winning consistently so one more day to go now, so we will give our best performance tomorrow,'' Chirag said.

The Indian pair thus continued to make waves on the BWF World Tour after progressing to their fourth final of the season. The duo had finished runner-up at Malaysia Super 1000 and India Super 750 before claiming the French Super 750 in March.

In the final on Sunday, the world number three Indian duo, the top seeds in this tournament, will be up against the Chinese pair of Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi, who defeated Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang of South Korea 21-19 21-18 in the other semifinal on Saturday.

Satwik said: ''There will be a lot of expectations. They're hoping for a big thing but we're not thinking so much in our head. We don't want to think about past experiences, it is one match at a time for us. We take it as that process, we're in for this moment.

''Deep inside we wanted to do well, we are sure we will do better than the last time. Last time, we played 90%, this time we will go with 400%. We will give everything there and see what happens.'' In the women's doubles, the fourth-seeded Indian pair of Tanisha Carsto and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 12-20 20-22 to top seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand in the semifinals.

Satwik and Chirag had some low returns in the last couple of tournaments. The Indian pair lost in the second round at All England Championships and then missed the Asia Championships due to an injury to Satwik. The Thomas Cup campaign was also not too fruitful as they lost a couple of narrow matches to top pairs. The final appearance will thus provide a major boost ahead of the Paris Olympics.

On Saturday, Satwik and Chirag were not really tested by Lu and Tang, who played well only in patches but lacked the aggression and accuracy to trouble the Indians, who were a cut above their rivals.

In the opening game, Satwik and Chirag were up 3-0 but the Taiwanese pair managed to make it 5-4 before they started conceding points. Errors crept into their game as they went long a number of times, allowing the Indians to enter the break with an 11-7 lead. Things didn't change after resumption as the Indians continued to gather point with their sharp placements. At 17-10, Chirag produced a powerpacked smash as they gained nine game points when the Chinese went out twice.

The second game began on a close note as the two pairs were 6-all. Satwik also produced an ambitious behind-the-back return only to spray it wide. Leading 9-7 for the first time in the match, Lu and Tang, however, couldn't sustain the pressure as a fast and long rally ended at the nets for the Chinese.

With Lu and Tang continuing to find the going tough, it was 15-10 in favour of the Indians, who grabbed 8 match points when the Chinese made another soft error at the net.

Chirag then stood at the front court and sealed it with a barrage of fast returns.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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