Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Korea Open Super 500: Satwik-Chirag Clinch Doubles Title

Korea Open Super 500: Satwik-Chirag Clinch Doubles Title

The pair defeated Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia 2-1 (21-17, 13-17, 21-14).

Satwik-Chirag have been on a roll in this year's men's doubles badminton.
Satwik-Chirag have been on a roll in this year's men's doubles badminton. Twitter/ India_AllSports

After clinching the Swiss Open and Indonesia Open titles, the pair of Satwik and Chirag have clinched yet another BWF title by winning the Korea Open Super 500 tournament.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated world no. 1 Indonesian duo Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in a thrilling 3-game men's doubles final 17-21, 21-13, 21-14. 

Coming into the final, the Indian pair had a 2-2 head-to-head count against Asian Games silver medallists Alfian and Ardianto but they had beaten the Indonesians on last two occasions. The Indians looked a little subdued in the beginning as they lagged behind in the opening game but they recovered in the fag end, narrowing a 10-19 deficit with a six-point burst before falling short.

However, they found the momentum in the second game and dominated the proceedings thereafter to come up trumps.

The Indonesians played flat rallies at a high pace to open up a 4-2 lead early on. The Indians were pegged back as Alfian and Ardianto didn't allow their opponents to mount their attack.

Errors also crept in as Satwik and Chirag conceded a seven-point advantage to their rivals at the break.

The Indians won a few quick points but the Indonesians managed to move away to 16-7 after Ardianto smashed one down the middle.

Another down-the-middle smash from Ardianto took the Indonesians to 19-11. Satwik and Chirag won next three points before playing an exciting rally which ended with the Indonesians going to the net.

A booming jump smash from Satwik further cut down the deficit to three points but he sent one wide to hand four game points to the Indonesians.

The Indians saved one with Chirag's cross court return before Satwik sprayed one to the net.

The second game started on an even keel with the two pairs engaging in some delectable rallies. The Indians infused more power and pace into their game as they started to dominate the rallies.

The Indians opened up a slender 6-4 lead after a Chirag interception and maintained it till 10-8, with Satwik unleashing his trademark smash.

The Indian duo had a cushion of three points at the break when the Indonesians went wide.

A cross court return from the front court from Chirag took them to 17-11.

Soon Satwik and Chirag grabbed nine game points. They squandered two before Chirag sent one down the middle to take the match to the decider.

Satwik and Chirag looked in control in the third game, eking out a 9-6 lead before going into the interval at 11-8.

The Indians were more aggressive and managed to keep the world number 1 pair under the pump.

After resumption, a Chirag interception helped the Indians keep the three-point lead at 13-10. Alfian and Ardianto looked a pale shadow as nothing was going their way.

Satwik and Chirag also dominated the flat exchanges and soon it was 18-12 for the Indians. Alfian produced a superb backhand return but sprayed the next one to the net to hand over seven match points to the Indians.

They wasted one before converting the next, and broke into a gangnam style dance to celebrate their victory.

Since pairing up, Satwik and Chirag have won multiple titles, including Commonwealth Games gold, Thomas Cup gold, bronze medal in World Championships and wins in Super 300 (Syed Modi and Swiss Open), Super 500 (Thailand and India Open), Super 750 (French Open) and Indonesia Open Super 1000.

The BWF World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300. One other category of the tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.


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