Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinch Swiss Open doubles title

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy celebrate on the podium. Photo: Twitter@airnewsalerts

Basel: India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty capped off their impressive campaign with a title win, beating China's Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang in the final of the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament here on Sunday.

The second-seeded Indians, the 2022 World Championships bronze medallists, were solid in defence and dished out an attacking game to outwit the world No. 21 pair 21-19, 24-22 in 54 minutes.

It was the first title of the season for India with Satwik and Chirag putting to rest the disappointment of last week's All England Championships where they had exited in the second round.

Overall, it was the fifth career World Tour title for the Indian pair, who had claimed the India Open and French Open last year, besides securing the Thailand Open in 2019 and Hyderabad Open in 2018.

Satwik and Chirag had also won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2022.

The title run also meant India continued its love affair with the Swiss Open, with P V Sindhu (2022), Saina Nehwal (2011, 2012), Kidambi Srikanth (2015) and H S Prannoy (2016) claiming the crown in the past.

The two pairs had contrasting march to the final with Satwik and Chirag playing three three-game matches on their way to the summit clash, while Tan and Ren didn't drop a game.

Tan had forged a world No. 10 pairing with He Jiting in 2019, winning the 2021 World Championships silver medal, while Ren had been ranked as high as 16 with his former partner Ou Xuanyi.

Playing the Chinese pair for the first time, Satwik and Chirag turned up the heat at the right moments, displayed their attacking prowess and steely nerve to come out victors.

The Indians managed to lead 3-1 early on before the Chinese drew parity at 6-6. There was another service error for height from Satwik before the Indians entered the break with a three-point cushion.

Satwik and Chirag tried to keep the rallies flat and short and it worked, as they led 15-10 and then 18-13.

However, Tan and Ren soon narrowed down the gap to 17-18.

But, a precise smash from Chirag, which bisected the court, gave the Indians two game points. Satwik sailed one long before sealing the game with a winner.

The second game was an extremely close affair as the rivals fought tooth and nail.

After trailing 2-4 early, Chirag went on the attack from the front court to draw level.

The Chinese pair kept fighting and clawed back at 8-8 with Tan finding a winner at the forecourt with a drop.

Satwik smashed one into the net before the Chinese made a service error to hand a two-point advantage to the Indians at the mid-game interval.

The Indian duo quickly extended the lead to 14-11 with Satwik producing a powerful smash. Tan and Chirag then engaged in a terrific rally but the latter went long as the Chinese kept breathing down the neck of the Indian pair.

With Satwik erring twice, the Chinese were drew level at 16-16. In the end, a straight smash from Chirag earned the Indians two championship points. After another exciting rally, Chirag went long to squander one opportunity.

A lucky net chord helped China draw parity at 20-20 before Tan sent one into the net to gift another match point to the Indians.

However, once again, a return bounced from the net as the Chinese saved another championship point.

Tan and Ren then grabbed a game point of their own with Chirag erring, but the Chinese squandered it with a shot going into net.

The Indians soon grabbed their fourth championship point and converted it this time. It was time for Chirag and Satwik to celebrate. 

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