• Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Shuttlers Rankireddy and Shetty beat Yang and Yi of China

Thailand Open Super 500 is Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

By: Eastern Eye

STAR India players Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty last Sunday (19) won the Thailand Open Super 500 badminton tournament with a straight-game win over Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi of China.

Rankireddy and Shetty, the world No. 3 pair, prevailed 21-15, 21-15 over Yang and Yi, ranked 29th, for their ninth BWF World Tour title in men’s doubles.

It was also the second title of the season for the Asian Games champions following their triumph at the French Open Super 750 in March. They had finished runners-up at Malaysia Super 1000 and India Super 750 as well.

“It has been a lucky tournament for us. The journey started from here. We lifted this title in 2019 and again we are lifting it here now. After 2019, we went on to win many tournaments and, hopefully, this will give more boost to us in the upcoming important tournaments,” Rankireddy said after the win.

“Liu and Chen kept playing fast and we knew we couldn’t relax. Overall, I think it’s the best match we played throughout the tournament. We kept everything calm and under control,” he added.

Asked about the Paris Games, Shetty said: “Not just us but all athletes want to go out there in the Olympics and win that medal and we too want that and hopefully we will play well there.”

For Rankireddy and Shetty, the title comes at a crucial juncture of their careers as they had some low returns in the last couple of tournaments. The Indian pair lost in the second round at the All England and then missed the Asia Championships due to an injury to Satwik.

The Thomas Cup campaign was also not too fruitful as they lost a couple of narrow matches to top ranked pairs.

Rankireddy and Shetty had come into the Thailand Open final without dropping a game and were favourites to claim the title, while their opponents also produced some stunning wins in the run-up to the summit clash and had the reputation of never losing a final.

However, it was always going to be a tough task to tame the top-seeded Indians, who didn’t allow the Chinese to get into long rallies or sustain any pressure.

Shetty hoped the win would spur Indian youngsters to dream big.

“A lot of people thought the Chinese or Indonesians are notches above us but the way we have played the last couple of years, it gives the youngsters a chance to rethink and beat the best in the world,” he said.

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