Hello and welcome to Sportstar 's highlights of the Thailand Open men's doubles final where India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty took on the Chinese pair of Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen.
Thanks for tuning in, we will be publishing the match report shortly!
21:18: The coach is on the court and what a day we have had for Indian badminton! Rankireddy crashes to the ground. He cannot believe it! Shetty is running around and in the midst of it all they have even forgotten to thank the referee.
20-18: The noise is deafening! Rankireddy played half of that 32-shot rally on the ground, LITERALLY!
19-18: Woah! A successful review gets a point back in China's favour.
18-15: Intelligent gameplay from Shetty. Consecutive shots to the left draws Yu Chen to cover Jun Hui and when the flatter one went to the right, Yu Chen had absolutely no answer to that. Tactical masterpiece!
16-14: Service over! Yu Chen forces Shetty into committing an error. Wide and out it goes.
14-10: A point for India. A quick rally and Rankireddy is the one to watch again. His reaction time must be dangerously close to zero seconds. A flat serve at the net was all he needed.
12-9: Rankireddy is the man! He has been a bliss to watch today. What a guy! I am kind of out of adjectives to describe his smashes now.
11-8: At the break it is the Indians who have a three-point lead! Jun Hui fails to get his defence ready as another Shetty smash destroys him. He has no respect for reputation, has he?
7-6: Absolutely brilliant! Four points in a row now for the unseeded pair as the cries of " Bharat Mata ki Jai! " rent the air. A longish rally ends with a smash from Shetty. At one point it looked like Rankireddy had given up when he lost his balance and was down on the floor. But as said earlier, there has been absolutely no shortage of commitments today.
3-5: Third smash from the back from Jun Hui comes in like a bullet. Shetty and Rankireddy look a bit dazed, meanwhile. A point to China.
1-4: Jun Hui loses balance, but still manages to play the rally. What a comeback this has been! On the other hand, has pressure crept into the Indian camp?
18-21: 1-1. Well unlucky! The Indians lost their way a bit in the end to gift the Chinese a few consecutive points. They have indeed capitalised and how!
18-20: Game point! That could be massive turning point. Will Yu Chen and Jun Hui take this?
18-18: What a contest we are witnessing! Chirag attempts another flat shot this time. Misses again.
18-16: Shetty forces the Chinese to commit an error. Slams wide, the return's wider.
14-13: I just leaped out of my chair as Rankireddy, after a majestic leap, rained down a thundering smash. UNPLAYABLE AND SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH!
13-13: Rankireddy gets a new racquet after breaking the previous one. India also gets a point after a good review: missed the mark by quite a few inches.
11-12: The Chinese have taken a lead here after Rankireddy's return finds the net. Will they capitalise on this advantage?
11-9: That is an advantage of two points again at the break. Similar consequences as well? What do you guys think?
10-8: Rankireddy goes low and Jun Hui commits the fatal error of going for a forehand shot.
8-7: A vicious smash from Rankireddy pierces into the other court. You cannot possibly return that.
6-5: Shetty tries to slam one hard and flat at the net. It goes flatter to crash into it. A point to the Chinese.
5-2: What has Yu Chen done here? Is the pressure getting to China? Jun Hui leaves a lofted shot but Yu Chen was too high up to take that.
3-1: The Chinese cannot afford to gift away points here. Jun Hui smashes this one OUT OF BOUNDS.
21-19: Potential for a massive shock on the cards here as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty take the first game away from China. But will the Chinese let go this easy? We doubt!
20-18: Game point! What was that?! A flick serve from Rankireddy outwits Yu Chen. He had absolutely no idea where that was headed to.
16-16: Shetty gifts a point to the opponents as he mistimes a shot and completely loses track. However, there is no shortage of commitment from Rankireddy's perspective: dives, but it was already too wide and late. Unlucky!
14-14: Stunning! Scores back on level. Li Jun Hui wins a point. Could we see the reaction time on that shot? Woah!
13-12: Well! Well! Well! The gap's down to one point after Rankireddy mishits one out of bounds. Looks to get the flatter trajectory but the shuttle finds the rim of his racquet.
11-9: Mid-game interval and India has a two point lead! Good judgement on the part of Liu Yu Chen gives the Chinese a point as he leaves one headed for the lobbies but India wins one back the very next serve after Shetty's shot baffles a clueless Yu Chen.
10-6: Two good consecutive service returns by Rankireddy. The 18-year old is surely having a good time at Bangkok.
7-3: All of the four on court are known for their smashes and we can expect a treat for the eyes. Meanwhile, the Indians have taken a lead by four points already.
3-2: Rankireddy slams a thundering smash into the opposition court for which the Chinese have no reply.
0-1: It is a packed house ladies and gents! Li Jun Hui serves to Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and the Chinese steal a point straightaway. Rankireddy lets out a wry smile.
The players are out onto the court and we cannot hold our excitement! This has really been a fairytale of a run for the Indian pair.
The match is scheduled to begin on Court 1 of the Indoor Stadium Huamark in Bangkok in a short while. Stay tuned!
Here is how the unseeded pair toppled the 19th-ranked Korean team of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol in the semifinals:
Rankireddy and Shetty were slow off the blocks as the Korean pair had the better share of exchanges in the first game to lead 3-0 and then 11-10 at the break.
But after the break, the Indians lifted their game and drew parity at 13 apiece before surging ahead 20-18. But Hyun and Cheol pocketed two consecutive points to draw level at 20-20.
The Indians kept their composure and earned two crucial points to take the first game.
It was the other way round in the second game as the Rankireddy and Shetty came out positive to take a 3-0 lead initially. The Koreans, however, fought back with some smart play at the net and overhead smashes to lead 11-9 at the break, which they later extended to 19-12.
But the Indians looked in no mood to surrender as they clawed back to make it 20-all. The two pairs fought tooth and nail before the Koreans eventually pocketed the second game 24-22 to stretch the match into the decider.
In the final game, it was a cakewalk for the Indians as their Korean rivals failed to sustain the tempo.
- Model airplanes keep protests flying high in Bundesliga as Bayern and Frankfurt game interrupted
- Premier League 2023-24: Brighton cruises past Sheffield United 5-0 win after Holgate’s early sending off
- PVL 2024: Ahmedabad makes it two out of two with win over Kolkata, Bengaluru no match for Delhi
- Sinner a winner again as he powers to Rotterdam Open crown
- ISL 2023-24: Mumbai City beats Bengaluru FC 2-0 to continue winning form