Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the Korea Open on Sunday by beating Fajar Alfian and Rian Ardianto 17-21, 21-13, 21-14.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost the first game 17-21 but bounced back to secure the second game 21-13.
In the decider, the Indian duo quickly ran up a 7-3 lead, which became 11-8 shortly after. They ultimately closed the game out at 21-14 and with it, sealed the title.
“The way we played today in the finals, didn’t start off that well but happy that we could win that second game and keep the momentum until the very end and yes, extremely happy that we could win the consecutive titles after the Indonesia Open,” Chirag said.
The Indians looked a little subdued at the start and lagged behind for the most part. They narrowed the deficit with a six-point burst towards the end but ultimately fell short.
The second game started on an even keel, with the two pairs engaging in some delectable rallies. The Indians infused more power and pace into their game as they started to dominate the rallies.
The Indians opened up a slender 6-4 lead after a Chirag interception and maintained it till 10-8, with Satwik unleashing his trademark smash.
The Indian duo had a cushion of three points at the break when the Indonesians went wide.
A cross-court return from the front court from Chirag took them to 17-11.
Soon, Satwik and Chirag grabbed nine game points. They squandered two before Chirag sent one down the middle to take the match to the decider.
Satwik and Chirag looked in control in the third game, eking out a 9-6 lead before going into the interval at 11-8.
The Indians were more aggressive and managed to keep the world’s number-one pair under pressure.
After resumption, a Chirag interception helped the Indians keep the three-point lead at 13-10. Satwik and Chirag also dominated the flat exchanges, working up an 18-12 lead. Alfian produced a superb backhand return but sprayed the next one into the net to hand over seven match points.
Satwik and Chirag wasted one before converting the next.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had reached the final, beating China’s Wang Chang & Liang Wei Keng 21-15, 24-22 on Saturday. This was their fourth final of the year. They had also won the previous three finals at Swiss Open, Badminton Asia Championships and Indonesia Open.
Satwiksairaj and Chirag were the only Indians left in the tournament after nine out of 11 Indian singles players crashed out in the first round and none progressed past the second round.
“It’s been pretty good week for us. We played some amazing badminton throughout the week here and I am happy with the performance today,” Satwiksairaj said.
“We want to continue with the same momentum next week at Japan Open so we’ll go back now, rest and focus again. Thank you for all the support.”
(With inputs from PTI)
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