French Open: Satwik-Chirag bow out after battling vs world No.1 men’s doubles pair


first_imgSatwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were unable to make it to their first French Open final as they went down fighting 12-21, 24-26 against world No.1 men’s doubles pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in the semi-final on Saturday.Satwik-Chirag were competing in their very first semi-final in Paris and started out quite nervously. However, they slowly came into their own and put up an extremely brave performance against ‘the Minions’ but fell short in the loss that came in 42 minutes.Prior to the semi-final, Gideon and Sukamuljo had reached six BWF World Tour tournament finals in 2018 and had won all of them. On the other hand, Satwik-Chirag were playing in only their second semi-final of the year.Unfortunately, even in their previous semi-final (Indonesia Masters), they had come up against Gideon and Sukamuljo and had bowed out in straight games.Gideon and Sukamuljo were overwhelming favourites in the tie, having been in the kind of form they are in and also purely by the fact that they led the Indian duo 4-0 in their head-to-head record.In their previous meet, Satwik and Chirag had taken a game off the world No.1 pair and they threatened to do the same again but the Indonesian pair showed great skill and steel to fend off the challenge.YONEX FRENCH OPEN 2018 | Badminton MD – SF – Highlights #badminton #HSBCBWFbadminton (@bwfmedia) October 27, 2018The match started with Gideon and Sukamuljo taking six points on the trot to lead 6-0 early on. It was only after this that Satwik and Chirag were able to register their first point.advertisementHowever, Chirag’s first serve was called for fault and the serve went back to the Indonesians. Satwik-Chirag were unable to match with the quick-paced attack of Gideon-Sukamuljo and were also playing very loose early on.Gideon and Sukamuljo went into the break with a massive 11-3 lead. After the break, Satwik and Chirag began to play to their strengths and started taking the game to the world No.1s.The Indian pair took six points to make it 13-9 but Gideon and Sukamuljo upped the ante and raced off to a 21-12 win in the first game.The second game started brightly for the Indian duo as they were able to work around Gideon and Sukamuljo to take a 6-2 lead early on. In the second game, Satwik and Chirag began to find their lines and their smashing abilities putting pressure on the Indonesians.Sukamuljo and Gideon tried a few trick shots against the Indian pair but Satwik-Chirag were upto the task and tried to keep a slender lead over the Indonesians.However, the world No.1s stormed right back in and levelled the game at 9-9 and then two more points to go into the break with an 11-9 lead. Indonesia’s world No.1 pair of Gideon and Sukamuljo reached their 7th BWF World Tour final on Saturday. (AP Photo)After the break, Satwik and Chirag brought up two straight points to make it 11-11. A brilliant defensive shot from Chirag meant that the Indians stayed close and level with Gideon-Sukamuljo.The match kept moving like a pendulum with both pairs exchanging points and having a go at each other. From 18-18, Satwik and Chirag took a slender 19-18 lead only for the Indonesians to take two straight points and bring up a match point opportunity.However, Satwik-Chirag showed impeccable character to not only save the sole match point but bring up a game point for themselves.Gideon and Sukamuljo saved two game points thereafter to level the game at 22-22 while the Paris audience was being treated to some powerful, engaging and extremely nervous badminton.After levelling the game at 22-22, the world No.1s brought up two more match points but Satwik-Chirag remarkably saved them both to make it 24-24.However, the Minions were able to up the pace and attack Satwik at his body to bring up their fourth match point opportunity and proved to be fourth-time lucky.A 14-shot rally then ensued as Gideon and Sukamuljo blocked two smashes from Satwik and Chirag, respectively and then Sukamuljo shot down a powerful smash himself against Chirag’s shot lift to win the point and the match.Quel point de match entre Gideon/Sukamuljo et Rankireddy/Shetty (21/12 26/24) #YonexIFB——What a match point between Gideon/Sukamuljo et Rankireddy/Shetty (21/12 26/24) #FrenchOpen (@FFBaD) October 27, 2018last_img

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