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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Satwik-Chirag triumph in the doubles French Open

<p>In the men’s doubles final here on Sunday, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made history by winning a commanding straight-game match over Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei to win the French Open badminton championship for the second time.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-496824″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-satwik-chirag-triumph-in-the-doubles-french-open-tnie-import-2023-5-3-original-sat-750×406.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com satwik chirag triumph in the doubles french open tnie import 2023 5 3 original sat” width=”991″ height=”537″ title=”Satwik-Chirag triumph in the doubles French Open 6″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-satwik-chirag-triumph-in-the-doubles-french-open-tnie-import-2023-5-3-original-sat-750×406.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-satwik-chirag-triumph-in-the-doubles-french-open-tnie-import-2023-5-3-original-sat-1024×555.jpg 1024w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-satwik-chirag-triumph-in-the-doubles-french-open-tnie-import-2023-5-3-original-sat-768×416.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-satwik-chirag-triumph-in-the-doubles-french-open-tnie-import-2023-5-3-original-sat.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 991px) 100vw, 991px” /></p>
<p>The French Open was won in 2022 by the world-ranked Indian couple, who had been runners-up in 2019.</p>
<p>After making it to the summit fight for the third time in 2023, the Asian Games winners defeated Lee and Yang 21-11 21-17 in 37 minutes on Sunday to reclaim the Super 750 competition championship and capture their first trophy of the season.</p>
<p>The Indian team concluded as runners-up in China Masters Super 750 last year and placed second at both Malaysia Super 1000 and India Super 750 this year.</p>
<p>Satwik and Chirag proved to be the fortunate ones once again, and their outstanding performance this week further strengthened head coach Pullela Gopichand’s prediction that the two would be the favorites to win gold in the Olympics in Paris.</p>
<p>It has a really nice feeling. We have always had great badminton matches in Paris, which has always had a particular place in our hearts and served as a second home. Although the Olympics are still a few months away, it is a test site,” Chirag said.</p>
<p>“We won this final, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relishing victory at an Olympic site. I’m excited about the next competition that takes place the following week.”</p>
<p>The Indians won this week’s BWF World Tour championship (Super 300 tournaments and above) without losing a single game. It was their fifth such championship.</p>
<p>Soon after the victory, Satwik lifted Chirag on his lap while raising his hands in the air to rejoice in the manner of the Indians. And Satwik started dancing with his racquet.</p>
<p>It all began with the Thomas Cup, developed into a routine, and we haven’t danced in a very long time. The fourth finals have ended. We just wanted to go have fun while allowing them to win the game and get points,” said Satwik.</p>
<p>“We wanted to enjoy ourselves and give it our all. We reestablished our rhythm and the momentum shifted despite even Mathias (Boe) asking us to enjoy ourselves.”</p>
<p>Chirag and Satwik defeated Lee and Yang 2-0 in their head-to-head match, although the Taiwanese duo entered the competition fresh off their victory at the German Open the previous week.</p>
<p>“They’ve had some strong weeks and victories against strong opponents, so we knew we couldn’t underestimate them despite their low rating. They’ve always been a dangerous opponent. Thus, we are pleased that we won the first game and, despite some early nervousness, the second as well, Chirag remarked.</p>
<p>From the beginning, Satwik and Chirag controlled the short, rapid rallies. They were vigilant, kept up a sharp assault, and their defense was equally excellent.</p>
<p>The Indians lead 11–6 at the half as Satwik and Chirag consistently made their opponents make mistakes by sending the shuttle wide and dumped into the net twice.</p>
<p>While Chirag and the other Indians made good decisions on the lines, Lee and Yang also made mistakes in their serves. Soon after, Yang fired a smash from Satwik to net, cutting the Indians’ lead to 16-6.</p>
<p>As Lee and Yang attempted to prolong the rallies, the Indians fired a few shots into the net. However, the Indians quickly altered their course, taking a 17-9 lead.</p>
<p>The Indians scored ten game points after Satwik scored another accurate smash and another flat exchange that culminated in a spectacular smash from Satwik on the front court.</p>
<p>With Satwik delivering a cross-court smash, the Commonwealth Games winners took advantage of their second opportunity.</p>
<p>Following the change of ends, Lee and Yang launched an offensive to take a 4-1 lead.</p>
<p>Coach Mathias was calling plays from the sidelines, and Chirag and Satwik swiftly got back into the game to make it 3–4. After the Taiwanese mishandled a flip serve and then dropped one to net, the Indians tied the score at five.</p>
<p>The Taiwanese gained some points with a pair of smashes on Satwik’s torso, but the Indians maintained their lead at 8-7 with a flurry of sharp smashes.</p>
<p>The Indians were penalized for a fault for a double-hit during a rally, but Lee made some nice interceptions on the front court and held an 11-9 lead at the half.</p>
<p>When play resumed at 11–11, Lee and Yang made another mistake in serve. As it was 14–14, Chirag made another wise decision by instructing Satwik to leave the shuttle at the backline.</p>
<p>Subsequently, the Indians increased their pressure, positioning themselves somewhat closer to the net and quickening their stroke to go up to 17-14.</p>
<p>They got a point after Yang’s second body blow on Satwik, but Chirag’s next smash put the Indians within two points of victory.</p>
<p>When the Taiwanese found the net, the Indians took four match points. The Indians cheered when Lee and Yang saved one and then sent the next one wide.</p>

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