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Home » Satwiksairaj-Chirag stun fifth seeds Japanese to enter French Open final | Badminton News
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Satwiksairaj-Chirag stun fifth seeds Japanese to enter French Open final | Badminton News

NAGPUR: The Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the men’s doubles final of the Yonex French Open, a BWF World Tour Super 750 event, in Paris, on Saturday. In an exciting semifinal, the unseeded pair shocked No. 5 seeds Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watamabe of Japan 21-11, 25-23 in 50 minutes.

The win over the Japanese pair comes after two earlier defeats. The world No. 6 Japanese pair is coached by Kim Tan Her, who used to coach the Indians until 2018.

This is also the second final of the year for Satwik and Chirag. The world ranked No. 11 pair had won the Thailand Open, a Super 500 event, a couple of months back.

Satwik and Chirag will now clash with top seeds and world No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo on Sunday. It will be the last match of the day with the first beginning at 5.30 pm IST. The Indonesians have a 6-0 record against the Indians.

Against the Japanese pair, the tall Indian duo raced to victory in the first game 21-11. Satwik was in spectacular form throughout the match. There were three brilliant behind-the-back returns, two of them coming in the same point. The Indians also had the rub of the green as they won a few net-chord points mostly on Chirag’s dribble.

However, the Japanese bounced back in the second game and were leading by three points at the break. Indians raised their level of play and restored parity. They earned a series of points and were ahead 20-18. But the Japanese did not give up.

They levelled the scores and threatened to take the match into the decider. After saving three match points, Japanese notched up a couple of points to earn their first game point. During this period, the rivals exchanged a 50-shot rally that ended with Chirag sprawled on the court and Satwik unable to react to a return.

Satwik and Chirag kept their composure. They not only saved the game point but also reeled off two successive points to finish the match on their fifth match point.

The Indian pair’s two earlier losses to the Japanese duo came at the Indonesia Open in 2018 (18-21, 15-21) and at the BWF World Championships (8-21, 12-21).

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