Satwiksairaj, Chirag's tryst with history continues with maiden Super 1000 title - Hindustan Times
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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty's tryst with history continues with maiden Super 1000 title in Indonesia Open

Jun 18, 2023 05:12 PM IST

Satwik and Chirag beat the world champions 21-17, 21-18 to become the first ever Indians to lift a Super 1000 title.

Just a month after Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty scripted history to become the the first Indian men’s doubles pair to win a gold medal at the Badminton Asia Championships, ending the nation's 52-year wait, the pair ranked world no.4 outlasted second seeds Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh of Malaysia in the 2023 Indonesia Open final to claim their first ever Super 1000 title. The pair have been making a habit of registering a number of firsts for Indian badminton in the last few years and on Sunday, they beat the world champions 21-17, 21-18 in just 43 minutes to become the first ever Indians to lift a Super 1000 title.

India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, right, with Chirag Shetty celebrate after winning men's doubles final match at Indonesia Open (AP)
India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, right, with Chirag Shetty celebrate after winning men's doubles final match at Indonesia Open (AP)

The Indonesia Title now adds to their illustrious set of titles which includes a Commonwealth Games gold, a Thomas Cup gold and bronze medal in World Championships and wins in Super 300 (Syed Modi), Super 500 (Thailand and India Open) and Super 750 (French Open).

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ALSO READ: Indonesia Open Highlights: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty win in straight games to create history

Satwik and Chirag had made a sluggish start to the match with the world champions extending their lead from 3-0 to 7-3 befoore the former fought back to level it at 7-7. However, the Malaysians had a two-point advantage at first-game interval. The Asian champions bounced back again to pick up a lead for the first time in the match and never conceded, ending the first game at 21-17.

“In the earlier eight matches against them, we would hold ourselves back, but today we stuck to the plan. We felt they are humans, they are players, and they will also make mistakes. We stuck to the plan right till the end and never really gave them a chance to come back.”

“Even in the second game when they took a couple of points, we were like we don’t have to hold ourselves back and play safe that would have made the game a little slow and they are good at capitalising on. Am really happy and we really needed this win,” commented Chirag Shetty.

The dominance continued in the second game where they raced to a 11-7 lead at interval before standing on match point with a six-point lead. However, the Indian pair, slated to be crowned as new world no.3 on Monday, stumbled in the fag end to concede four points in a row before the sealed a historic win.

“For the past few tournaments, I don’t feel like dancing because I felt more hunger. We have won this tournament, and next week we have another. We go back and reset. But I am still happy with the way we played. It felt like a new day, playing new opponents. We were down 8-0 in head-to-head, but I wasn’t thinking much about it. I thought to myself this was a final and both teams were under pressure and if we play good we will win. We were under control when we got a strike in the first game. I said to myself it’s our day don’t panic and just playing like any other final,” Rankireddy said.

This was also their 14th win in 17 BWF finals implying a staggering 82.35 win percentage. But the most notable stat behind the victory is that it was their first ever win against the Malaysian pair in nine attempts.

The BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300. One more category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points. Each of these tournaments offers different ranking points and prize money. The highest points and prize pool is offered at the Super 1000 level.

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