Badminton, French Open: India's Satwiksairaj-Chirag storm into the finals
India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty torched South Korea's Choi Sol-gyu and Kim Won-ho 21-18, 21-14 to reach the finals of the 2022 French Open on Saturday. The 2022 Commonwealth Games gold-wining duo will face the winner of England's Ben Lane-Sean Vendy and Taiwan's Lu Ching-yao and Yang Po-han in the final summit clash of the Super 750 event. Here's more.
How did the match pan out?
It was a neck and a neck battle early on as both sides were leveled 7-7 before the Indians snatched a five-point lead. The Koreans fought hard but surrendered the tie with an 18-21 scoreline. In the second game, the Indians looked resolute and raked in a commanding 15-9 lead. The Japanese pair plundered a few points but eventually fell to a 14-21 drubbing.
A look at their journey so far
Satwiksairaj and Chirag beat local favorites Christo Popov and Toma Junior Popov 19-21, 21-9, 21-13 in R32. The seventh-seeded pair bested Malaysia's Man Wei Chong and Tee Kai Wun 21-16, 21-14 in R16. They overpowered Japanese world number one Yugo Kobayashi and Takuro Hoki 23-21, 21-18. They thrashed South Korea's Sol-gyu and Won-ho in the semis to book a finals berth.
Satwiksairaj-Chirag own a 33-8 record in 2022
Satwiksairaj-Chirag own a 33-8 win-loss record in 2022. Prior to the French Open, the pair exited in the quarter-finals in Denmark Open a week back. They also suffered a semi-final defeat in the World Championships in August. They started the year with an enthralling run at the India Open. However, they followed with second-round defeats at the All-England Open and the Swiss Open.
Satwiksairaj-Chirag own a distinguishable feat to their name
In 2019, Satwiksairaj and Chirag became only the second Indian duo to reach the final of a BWF 750 event by getting to the French Open finale. They joined the 1983 French Open-winning pair of Partho Ganguli and Vikram Singh. Satwiksairaj-Chirag, however, had to be content with silver. They failed to overcome Indonesia's Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.
A look at their career accolades
Satwiksairaj and Chirag are the first Indian men's doubles pair to breach the Top 10 rankings. They are two-time bronze medallists at the Asia Team Championships (2016, 2020). They won silver in men's doubles in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, besides winning gold in the mixed team event. Earlier this year, the pair was crowned winner in the men's team event at the Thomas Cup.
Three-time BWF World Tour winners
Satwiksairaj and Chirag have won three BWF World Tour titles in men's doubles. They emerged winners at the 2018 Hyderabad Open, 2019 Thailand Open, and 2022 India Open. The pair concluded as the runner-up on two occasions (2018 Syed Modi International and 2019 French Open). Besides, they are six-time BWF International Challenge/Series champions.