Duo Satwik-Chirag through to final French Open

Commonwealth Games champion Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty advanced to the men’s doubles final of the French Open Super 750 badminton tournament with an impressive win over Korean pair of Choi Sol Gyu and Kim Won Ho, here on Saturday.

The number 8 Indian duo in the world played an attacking match and also controlled the net well to outsmart the Korean combination, 18th, 21-18 21-14 in the semi-final which lasted 45 minutes.

The Indian duo, seeded seventh, thus reached the second final of a BWF world tour in 2022, after winning the India Open Super 500 tournament in January earlier this year.

Satwik and Chirag, who had won a bronze medal at the World Cup in August, will play against the winner of the other semifinal between Ben Lane and Sean Vendy of England and Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han of Chinese Taipei.

Against opponents they’ve never played before, Chirag was relentless in the forecourt, while Satwik unleashed his thumping blows from the back as the Indians put on a clinical show at Stade Pierre de Coubertin.

Satwik and Chirag, the second pair of the 2019 edition, never ran into trouble as they had things in their grip from the start. The Indians came on all-out attack and led 2-0 early on and while the Koreans managed to come back at 7-7, Satwik and Chirag gave them a four-point lead in the middle of the game.

After the break, the Koreans briefly tried to dictate the pace of the rallies, steepening their returns. They were soon up 16-13, but an alert Chirag made a precise return to keep moving forward.

With the Indians hitting the net and leaving the field several times, the Koreans reduced the comparison to 18-19, but Choi then committed an unforced error by giving two game points to their opponents.

Chirag then sealed the opening game with a precise smash. The Indian combination continued their aggressive game plan in the second game which saw some good rallies early on. After 3-3, Satwik and Chirag moved to a 7-4 lead.

However, the Koreans came back to 9-10 after a slew of exchanges, but Chirag unleashed a smash to give himself a two-point cushion at the break.

Chirag took control of the forecourt as he was more alert and produced some good shots even as the Korean pair found it difficult to trail 10-15.

Two net errors from Korea brought the Indian pair to 18-12. A deceptive return-to-serv gave the Koreans another point, but Chirag responded with a body return.

Choi then batted wide to give six match points to the Indians and Chirag sealed it with a smash and raised his arm even as his partner Satwik broke into a dance.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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