Yeosu (Korea): India’s star pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty entered the Korean Open super 500 badminton tournament final with a thrilling win in a row over the world number two Chinese pair of Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang on Saturday. India’s world number three pair clinched a 21-15, 24-22 win over second seed China in a 40-minute duel at Jinnam Stadium. It was Satwik and Chirag’s first victory against the Chinese pair after two previous defeats.
Satwik and Chirag, who won the Indonesian Super 1000 and Swiss Open Super 500 titles this year, will face top seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia or Koreans Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae in the summit clash.
__ ______ _______ __
Satwik and Chirag deliver their very first #KoreaOpen last place after beating 2nd-seeded Liang/Wang in back-to-back matches, 21-15, 24-22 _#KoreaOpen2023 #BWFWorldTour #BWFonJioCinema #BWOnSports18 | @satwiksairaj @Shettychirag04 pic.twitter.com/oTOoixs8hZ— JioCinema (@JioCinema) July 22, 2023
cre Trending Stories
The Chinese, who won the Thailand and Indian Open this year, entered the match with a 2-0 head-to-head record, but it was a different day as the Indians put on a great show to reach their second consecutive final, having won the Indonesia Open in their last tournament in June. Both pairs engaged in short trades and pounced on anything weak. The result was that the pairs went neck and neck from 3-3 to 5-5.
India had a slim 7-5 lead but Liang unleashed a precise smash between the two. The Indians, however, managed to hold on to a three-point cushion at the interval once Liang found the net.
The lead increased to 14-8 as the Chinese found the net and went long. Satwik then distributed their trademark smash but the Chinese duo got a few points, mainly due to Chirag’s misjudgment on the baseline.
Another smash goes to the net from Liang and it was 17-11 for the Indians, who quickly made it 19-12 with Satwik producing an accurate cross return. Satwik and Chirag got six game points after Wang sent one to the net. The Indians squandered one before sealing the net when Liang failed to negotiate a serve.
The second game was no different, with both pairs taking points alternately, going from 2-2 to 8-8. Soon the Indians grabbed two quick runs with Chirag leading the charge. The Chinese then hit wide to give the Indians an 11-8 lead at the break.
After the restart, Wang’s backhand went to the net as the Indians quickly surged to 14-9. A cross-back from Wang and Liang’s burst in the frontcourt kept the Chinese in the hunt as he was 12-14.
The Chinese continued to breathe until 17-15 before Liang unleashed a smash as the game headed to a tight end. The Indians regained the two-point lead after the Chinese went wide, but Liang again pounced on a weak return to the net, then sent another smash to recover at 18-18.
As Liang sent long, Chirag served short as it was 19-19. Chirag then sent a smash to catch a match point. But Satwik was short in his serve this time as it was 20-20.
India got a second match point with Satwik sending a hard return. But wasted it with Wang put one away. Wang, however, pulverized the next one at net but Liang saved the day with a spike as it was 22-22.
India grabbed their fourth match point and converted this time with Satwik sending one in, albeit after kissing the net. He quickly burst into his trademark dance.
The BWF World Tour is divided into six tiers, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000s, six Super 750s, seven Super 500s and 11 Super 300s. Another category of the tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 Tier, also offers ranking points.