French Open badminton: Satwik-Chirag win men's doubles title

Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. File photo: AFP

Paris: The star Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the French Open Super 750 crown with a straight-game demolition of Chinese Taipei's Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han in the men's doubles final here on Sunday.

The world number 8 pair, who had finished runners-up in the 2019 edition, rode on their formidable attack to outwit the 25th ranked Lu and Yang 21-13 21-19 in the summit clash that lasted 48 minutes.

The Indian pair thus continued their dream run this year, which saw them win the Indian Open super 500 title, Commonwealth Games gold, Thomas Cup crown and an unprecedented bronze at the World Championships in August.

It is the pair's third world tour title, following the 2019 Thailand Open Super 500 and India Open Super 500 this year. They are also the first Indian duo to win a super 750 tournament.

In a battle between two attacking teams, it was Satwik and Chirag who emerged victorious as they showed better tactical acumen and hunger to reign supreme over their rivals.

The Indian pair came out all cylinders blazing to jump to a 5-0 lead. They kept moving ahead, not giving any chance to their opponent to make a comeback.

Eventually, it was a great serve by Satwik that helped them to take a six-point cushion at the midgame break.

The Indian duo continued to dominate the fast-paced rallies and earned seven game point opportunities after a series of flat exchanges, and Chirag sealed it on the first chance.

The Taipei pairing needed a good start in the second game and they looked competitive initially, but the Indian duo once again ensured a six-point cushion at the interval.

However, the Indians were guilty of taking the foot away from the pedal as Lu and Yang started taking control of the rallies, narrowing it down to 10-12.

A service error from Lu Ching Yao broke the run of points, but they soon drew parity at 14-14, when Chirag went long. A couple of mistakes from Chirag, including a service error, handed the Taipei combination the lead.

The Indians, however, quickly clawed back at 19-19 after winning a lucky net chord and Yang sending one wide from the net.

They moved to one match point with a towering smash from Satwik, who sealed it with another attacking return.

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