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Sweet Swiss redemption

Updated on: 27 March,2023 06:53 AM IST  |  Basel

Indian pair Satwik-Chirag put to rest last week’s All England agony by lifting title in Switzerland with dominant 21-19, 24-22 win over China’s Ren-Tan

Sweet Swiss redemption

India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (right) and Chirag Shetty during their Swiss Open men’s doubles final against China’s Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang in Basel, Switzerland, yesterday. Pic/AP; PTI

Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty capped off their impressive campaign with a title win, beating China’s Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang in the final of the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament here on Sunday.

The second-seeded Indian pair, the 2022 World Championships bronze medallist, was solid in defence and dished out an attacking game to outwit the world No. 21 pair 21-19, 24-22 in 54 minutes. It was the first title of the season for India with Satwik and Chirag putting to rest the disappointment of last week’s All England Championships where they had exited in the second round.

Contrasting journeys to final

The two pairs had contracting march to the final with Satwik and Chirag playing three three-game matches on their way to the summit clash, while Tan and Ren didn’t drop a game. Playing the Chinese pair for the first time, Satwik and Chirag managed to lead 3-1 early on before the Chinese drew parity at 6-6. The Indians tried to keep the rallies flat and short and it worked, as they led 15-10 and then 18-13.

However, Tan and Ren soon narrowed down the gap to 17-18. But, a precise smash from Chirag, which bisected the court, gave India two game points. Satwik sailed one long before sealing the game with a winner to take the first advantage. The second game was an extremely close affair. After trailing 2-4 early, Chirag went on the attack from the front court to draw level.

Also read: Satwik-Chirag duo enters semi-final of Swiss Open

The Chinese pair kept fighting and clawed back at 8-8 but after the mid-game interval,  the Indian duo quickly took the lead to 14-11 with Satwik producing a powerful smash. Tan and Chirag then engaged in a terrific rally but the latter went long as the Chinese kept breathing down the neck of the Indian pair.

Close encounter

With Satwik erring twice, China was back on level par at 16-16. In the end, a straight smash from Chirag earned India two championship points. After another exciting rally, Chirag went long to squander one opportunity. A lucky net chord helped China draw parity at 20-20 before Tan sent one into the net to gift another match point to the Indians.

However, once again, a return bounced from the net as China saved another championship point. Tan and Ren then grabbed a game point of their own with Chirag erring, but China lost it with a shot going into net. India soon grabbed their fourth championship point and converted it this time. It was time for Chirag and Satwik to celebrate.

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