India Open: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty Pair Ends Runner-Up

Home favourites Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down in a tense final against world champions Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Sang Jae at India Open, settling for their second successive runners-up finish in New Delhi Sunday. Satwik and Chirag, the Asian Games champions, lost 21-15 11-21 18-21 to Kang and Seo after the two pairs fought for 65 minutes in what was some breath-taking badminton at the KD Jadhav Indoor stadium. The Indian duo, which won the 2022 edition, had finished second best at the Malaysia Super 1000 last week as well.

Satwik and Chirag always had tough matches against their Korean rivals though they boasted a 4-1 head-to-head count in five meetings coming into the match with the latest being at the Malaysia Open last week.

The Indian duo played some breath-taking rallies, displaying amazing reflexes as they kept the Korean pair under the pump with some relentless hitting in the opening game.

Chirag dazzled in the front court with some brilliant net interceptions as the duo led 11-9 and soon jumped to 19-13 after the break before pocketing the game when the Koreans netted a shot.

The Indian pair made a sloppy start in the second, falling behind 1-5 but change of pace and angled returns helped them make it 5-7 with Satwik standing tall at the front court and producing a net kill.

A couple of net errors from Chirag during flat exchanges gave the Koreans a six-point advantage.

The Koreans defended well, while India’s attack seemed to lose a bit of sting as Kang and Seo grabbed a 10-point advantage at 15-5. Kang stepped up with his serve and showed good variations. The Koreans held 10 game points and they converted in the second chance to roar back into the contest.

In the decider, the Koreans kept a high tempo with Kang flying across the front court as they lead 9-5. The Koreans didn’t allow the Indians to play their attacking game.

Another exciting rally ensued with the Indians finding the net as Kang and Seo grabbed a five-point cushion at the interval.

After the change of sides, Satwik stepped up at the front court as the momentum seemed to change in India’s favour with the Korean committing a service error and then finding the net.

The Koreans opted for low serve but Chirag was upto the task as they brought the equation down to two points at 13-15 soon. Satwik then sent one to the corners, while Chirag unleashed a smash as one point separated the two pairs at 15-16.

A superb low shot from forehand corner from Satwik was negated by Chirag’s net error. Kang then sent one down the line to put themselves two point away from the title.

Kang found the net next, while Chirag dominated a flat exchange as it was 18-19. The Koreans grabbed two championships point when Satwik sent one wide.

It was all over when Chirag sent one to the net and fell on the floor.

Tai Tzu, Shi Yu Qi win women’s and men’s singles titles

An inspired Tai Tzu Ying secured her first women’s singles India Open title with a dominating 21-16 21-12 win over Chen Yu Fei, while world no. 2 Shi Yu Qi outwitted giant-killer Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong 23-21 21-17 in a tense battle to reclaim the men’s singles crown.

The former world number one from Chinese Taipei, who is set to retire after this season, used her cross court smashes and delightful drops to completely outplay her Chinese rival 21-16 21-12 in the summit clash which was a rematch of the Tokyo Olympic final.

On that evening, the Chinese had the last laugh but Tai Tzu on Sunday showed why she is revered as one of the greatest players of the game with a masterclass performance at the KD Jadhav Indoor stadium here.

Earlier, Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai claimed the Mixed Doubles title, defeating World No. 5 duo Jiang Zhen Bang and Wei Ya Xin of China 21-16, 21-16 in the final of Super 750 badminton tournament.

Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara were crowned women’s doubles champions after they beat World Championships bronze medallist Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu of China in the final 21-12, 21-13.

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

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