Satwiksairaj and Chirag watched video of match-point 'at least 50 times' after shock Thailand Open triumph

"We just didn’t know what happened for a few minutes after we snatched the thrilling final till our coach ran on to the court,” said Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty after their shock Thailand Open victory.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty pose with their Thailand Open gold medals outside the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad.   -  KVS Giri

The newly-crowned Thailand Open men’s doubles champions, R. Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty, said the feeling of winning their maiden Super 500 title was yet to sink in.

In their first interaction after arriving in Hyderabad on Monday, the champion shuttlers who shocked world champions Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen in the final on Sunday, said they had seen the video clip of the winning match-point at least 50 times.

“We must say it is an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. We just didn’t know what happened for a few minutes after we snatched the thrilling final till our coach ran on to the court to join in the celebrations,” said Satwik and Chirag at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, where they will begin their Hyderbad Open campaign on Tuesday as the defending champions.

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“Well, I must say we played high quality game right through the tournament, showed lot more maturity, were more adept in analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the opponents and very composed,” said Satwik.

“We just took one round at a time and honestly never thought of winning the title before the Thailand Open began. This is largely because we were never in a hurry to score points, played the waiting game to perfection,” said Chirag.

“Well, if an outsider felt there was less pressure on us being underdogs against such a champion combination, it may not be fully right. We did feel the pressure at times but fortunately came back strongly every time,” he said.

Chirag felt they need to shore up their defensive game ahead of the World Championships. “I think we are not still 100 per cent there in this department though we are conscious that we have to keep improving in other key areas too,” he said.

“It was like playing at home with so much of crowd support. And obviously we won because we could control things better in crunch situations of the game,” said Satwik, who also revealed that he was carrying stiffness in his shoulder from the quarterfinal stage but that it was not a serious problem.

“I must tell we idolised the doubles combinations have beaten in the Thai Open. I mean we learnt so much watching them and beating them in such a prestigious event is a truly special feeling,” he said.

 

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“Definitely, we will be more confident in the coming event, if not complacent. It is always a great feeling to enter the next big events including the Hyderabad Open backed by such a terrific performance,” he said. “We are grateful to the support staff for keeping us fit right through the demanding schedule,” he added.

“Well, there are lot of fans who watch the doubles matches in big events and we do hope that more and more youngsters will look up to playing doubles after our Thai Open victory,” said Satwik.

“The next big target it to break into the top five which is not going to be easy but we will not be found wanting in terms of efforts,” they signed off.