China Masters: Satwik-Chirag through to semifinals

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the semifinals. File photo: AFP

Shenzhen: Asian Games champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the men's doubles semifinals with a straight-game win over Indonesia's Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin at the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Friday.

The top-seeded Indian pair dished out an attacking game to outwit the world No.13 Indonesian combination 21-16, 21-14 in 46 minutes.

H S Prannoy's campaign ended after he lost to Japan's Kodai Naraoka 9-21, 14-21 in the men's singles quarterfinal. 

Satwik and Chirag, who won the Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500 and Swiss Super 300 this year, will face the winner of the other quarterfinal between the two Chinese pairs -- He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu and eighth seeds Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi.

The match started on an even keel with both the pairs fighting tooth and nail. But the Indian combination soon started dominating the proceedings with an onslaught of attacking shots to break off at 14-14.

Chirag made some right judgements as they were 19-16 up soon and then the Mumbaikar displayed his attacking intent once again, coming to the front court after serving to quickly close out the issue with a quick return.

The Indians kept up the tempo to surge to a 5-2 lead early in the second game. A few taps went to the net from but they ensured a two-point lead at 7-5 with Satwik unleashing a stiff return.

A flurry of smashes took the Indians to a healthy 11-6 advantage at the interval.

The Indonesians couldn't match the attack of their rivals, who were relentless from the first point. The Indians quickly moved to 17-10. The longest rally of the match with 48 shots ensued next with Marthin producing a precise smash.

A lucky net chord put the Indians three points away and Marthin next went to the net as they grabbed seven match points.

Satwik and Chirag squandered one before winning a video referral to seal their last four place. 

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