• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024
Sathwik and Chirag won the Korea Open by beating top seeds Fajar Alfian and Mohammad Rian Ardianto.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Fajr Alfian and Rian Ardianto 17-21, 21-13, 21-14 at the Korea Open Championship on Sunday.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost the first game 17-21 but secured the second game 21-13.

In the decider, the Indian pair took a quick 7-3 lead which soon became 11-8. They eventually closed out the game 21-14 and secured the title.

“We didn’t start well the way we played in the final today, but it’s great to win that second game and keep the momentum going until the end, yes, it’s great to win back-to-back titles after the Indonesia Open,” Chirag said.

Iffy start

The Indians, who initially looked underpowered, almost fell behind. At the end they cut the deficit by six points in a burst but eventually fell.

The second game started evenly with both pairs engaging in some interesting rallies. The Indians infused more power and pace into their game as they began to dominate the rallies.

The Indians opened up a slim 6-4 lead after a Chirag interception and maintained it to 10-8 before Satvik unleashed his trademark smash.

Korea Open Final Highlights – How It Happened

The Indian pair had a three-point cushion at the break when the Indonesian players were out.

A strong comeback

A cross-court return from Chirag from the front court put them up 17-11.

Soon Satvik and Chirag won nine game points. They squandered two before Chirag sent one through midwicket to take the match to the decider.

Satwik and Chirag took a 9-6 lead in the third game and went 11-8 at the break.

The Indians were more aggressive and managed to put pressure on the world number 1 pair.

After the restart, a Chirag interception helped the Indians maintain a three-point lead at 13-10. Satvik and Chirag dominated the flat exchanges and took an 18-12 lead. Alfian produced a brilliant backhand return but sprayed the next into the net to hand over seven match points.

Satvik and Chirag wasted one.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty reached the final after defeating China’s Wang Chang and Liang Wei Keng 21-15, 24-22 in Saturday’s match. It was their fourth final of the year. She had won all three previous finals in the Swiss Open, Badminton Asia Championship and Indonesia Open.

Satvik Sairaj and Chirag are the only Indians left in the tournament after nine of the 11 Indian singles players were eliminated in the first round and none made it past the second round.

“It’s been a really good week for us. We have played fantastic badminton here throughout the week and I am happy with today’s performance,” Satwiksairaj said.

“We want to continue the same momentum into the Japan Open next week, so we can go back now, relax and refocus. Thanks for all the support.”

(with inputs from PTI)

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