Satwik-Chirag duo create history by reaching finals of French Open Super 750 event
The Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty continued their dream run, sailing into the finals of the French Open Super 750 with a straight game win over Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe in Paris.
Satwik and Chirag, who had won their maiden Super 500 title at the Thailand Open in August, notched up a 21-11 25-23 win over the fifth seeded Japanese combination in a 56-minute semifinal on Saturday.
The duo’s effort is commendable as this is the first time an Indian men’s doubles pair has reached a World Tour 750 final.
Satwik and Chirag had come into the match with a 0-2 head-to-head record against the Japanese combination, having lost to them at the 2018 Indonesia Open and 2017 World Championship.
The Indian pair took the first game easily in just 15 minutes, using the smash to good effect, but Satwik and Chirag were under a bit of pressure early in the second game. However, they came back strongly to lead 11-8 at the mid-break. This was after the Japanese had taken a 8-6 lead owing to a few errors from the racquet of Satwik.
The Japanese pair fought hard in a dramatic second game and saved multiple match points, but the determined Indian duo eventually emerged victorious with their brilliant play that was a mix of attack and defence, a far cry from the one-dimensional approach that punctuated their game in the past.
They are the only remaining Indian challenge at the USD 7,00,000 event following the defeat of reigning world champion and Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu and Olympic bronze winner Saina Nehwal at the quarterfinals stage.
The world number 11 Indian pair will next take on top seeded Indonesian duo of Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo in the summit clash on Sunday.
They reached their first ever World Tour Super 750 quarterfinal in Pairs in 2017, qualified for the semifinals last year and did even better this time around.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) tweeted, “The duo stamped the mark of CLASS as they countered the current WR6 pair with absolute grit and dominance to win the match 21-11 25-23 and enter the finals of the #FresnchOpenSuper750.” The Sports Authority of India (SAI) wished the pair luck ahead of the grand finale.
“TOPSAthlete men’s doubles duo @satwiksairaj -@Shettychirag04 beat world #6 Hiroyuki Endo-Yuko Watanabe 21-11,25-23 to reach final of #FrenchOpenSuper750. They will play #1 Marcus Gideon-Kevin Sukamuljo in the final later today. Best Wishes!#KheloIndia@KirenRijiju @DGSAI,” SAI tweeted.