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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Thailand Open title in kitty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty focus now on Paris

Satwik and Chirag, the world No. 3 pair, prevailed 21-15, 21-15 over Liu and Chen, ranked 29th, for their ninth BWF World Tour title in men’s doubles

PTI Bangkok Published 20.05.24, 09:12 AM
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (left) and Chirag Shetty after winning the Thailand Open Super 500 title, in Bangkok on Sunday.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (left) and Chirag Shetty after winning the Thailand Open Super 500 title, in Bangkok on Sunday. PTI

Star India shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty on Sunday won the Thailand Open Super 500 badminton tournament with a straight-game win over Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi of China, here.

Satwik and Chirag, the world No. 3 pair, prevailed 21-15, 21-15 over Liu and Chen, ranked 29th, for their ninth BWF World Tour title in men’s doubles.

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It was also the second title of the season for the Asian Games champions following their triumph at the French Open Super 750 in March.

They had also finished runners-up at Malaysia Super 1000 and India Super 750.

“It has been a lucky tournament for us. The journey started from here. We lifted this title in 2019 and again we are lifting it here now. After 2019, we went on to win many tournaments and, hopefully, this will give more boost to us in the upcoming important tournaments,” Satwik said after the win.

“Liu and Chen kept playing fast and we knew we couldn’t relax. Overall, I think it’s the best match we played throughout the tournament. We kept everything calm and under control.”

Asked about the Paris Games, Chirag said: “Not just us but all athletes want to go out there in the Olympics and win that medal and we too want that and hopefully we will play well there.”

For Satwik and Chirag, the title comes at a crucial juncture of their careers as they had some low returns in the last couple of tournaments.

The Indian pair lost in the second round at the All England 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.

Satwik and Chirag had come into the Thailand Open final without dropping a game and were favourites to claim the title, while Liu and Chen also produced some stunning wins in the run-up to the summit clash and had the reputation of never losing a final.

However, it was always going to be a tough task to tame the top-seeded Indians, who didn’t allow the Chinese to get into long rallies or sustain any pressure.

Chirag hoped the win would spur the youngsters to dream big.

“A lot of people thought the Chinese or Indonesians are notches above us but the way we have played the last couple of years, it gives the youngsters a chance to rethink and beat the best in the world,” Chirag said.

PTI

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