Having endured a “frustrating” two-month injury lay-off, star Indian men’s doubles player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy on Sunday said he was quite emotional after winning the first title of the season at the Swiss Open badminton tournament.
The 22-year-old Satwik said it was “irritating” and “frustrating” after he was sidelined for almost two months following a hip injury in January.
On Sunday, Satwik and his partner Chirag Shetty outwitted China’s world No. 21 Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang 21-19, 24-22 in the summit clash id Swiss Open in Basel to secure their maiden Super 300 title and fifth world tour crown overall.
“The injury phase was quite tough, irritating and frustrating. So I was quite emotional after winning the final point,” Satwik told PTI from Basel.
“I actually couldn’t celebrate after the win. I was still thinking whether we have won a match or the title.” The duo had begun the year with a lot of expectations after a hugely successful 2022 where they won the India Open Super 500, French Open Super 750, Commonwealth Games gold and a bronze at the World Championships.
However, the world number 6 pair had to withdraw in the round of 16 at the India Open Super 750 after Satwik pulled his left hip adductor.
“It was a hip injury but it turned out to be more serious than we initially thought. So I was completely off the court for two weeks and slowly got back,” Satwik said.
While Satwik was nursing his injury, Chirag paired up with Dhruv Kapila for national duty as India returned with a bronze from the Badminton Asia mixed team championships.
Satwik and Chirag came together at the All England Championships but they couldn’t cross the second round, losing in three games to China’s Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang.
“After I returned at All England, I had no confidence. I was playing such a big event after 2 months, so didn’t have a confident start. But here I felt comfortably,” said the 22-year-old from Amalapuram.
“Before coming here, we had four events lined-up, including next two weeks’ Spain Masters and Orleans Masters. We wanted to have to good events, that was our target.
“When we saw Swiss Open draw, it was quite open, I mean it was favourable, so there was extra pressure as we became favourites. So happy with week.” Talking about their final match, Satwik said the idea was to mix the shots to keep the rivals confused.
“We know how they like the shuttle to come. They like to play more drives, so we wanted to change the rhythm, use drive, smash, drop to confuse them.
“After we won the first game, we knew they would come hard, we were close neck-and-neck. We didn’t take pressure as we were much more experienced, we had more weapons to get out of crucial situations, so it was about playing that one point.”
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