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Badminton: Satwik & Chirag make history, win India's first BWF Super 1000 world tour title

India’s men’s doubles badminton pair of Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty created history once again. They defeated the second-seeded Malaysian pair of Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh 21-17, 21-18 to claim India’s first-ever BWF Super 1000 World Tour title in the final of the Indonesian Open played in Jakarta on Sunday.

The World No 6. Indian pair had faced defeat against the Malaysian pair on eight previous occasions. However, it was their recent historic Asian Championship victory that rekindled hope in themselves and badminton fans across India and the manner they were playing this week. 

Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh are also the reigning World Champions, however, couldn’t counter the strategy the two Indians had laid out for them. 

“In the earlier eight matches against them, we would hold ourselves back, but today we stuck to the plan. We felt they are humans, they are players, and they will also make mistakes. We stuck to the plan right till the end and never really gave them a chance to come back.”

“Even in the second game when they took a couple of points, we were like we don’t have to hold ourselves back and play safe that would have made the game a little slow and they are good at capitalising on. Am really happy and we really needed this win,” commented Chirag Shetty.

Photo Courtesy - BAI

In the first game, the Malaysians shot off to a lead straight away and maintained it till the Indians drew parity at 7-7. And once Rankireddy & Shetty surged ahead on points, Chia and Soh found themselves playing catch-up. The two had ensured enough cushion to see them through in the first game at 21-17. 

In the second game, the Malaysian did try to show some resistance in early stages, but Rankiraddy and Chirag looked determined to create history by bagging India’s first Super 1000 World Tour title.

“For the past few tournaments, I don’t feel like dancing because I felt more hunger. We have won this tournament, and next week we have another. We go back and reset. But I am still happy with the way we played. It felt like a new day, playing new opponents. We were down 8-0 in head-to-head, but I wasn’t thinking much about it. I thought to myself this was a final and both teams were under pressure and if we play good we will win. We were under control when we got a strike in the first game. I said to myself it’s our day don’t panic and just playing like any other final,” Rankireddy said.  

"This is historic and a fantastic victory for India. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have been consistently doing the country proud. And this victory is also a testament to how fast Indian badminton is climbing the doubles ladder globally. Also, a big applause for the coaches and the support staff for ensuring such consecutive performances,” said BAI General Secretary, Sanjay Mishra.

Before this tournament, no Indian pair had ever gone beyond the semi-finals in a BWF Super 1000 World Tour event. 

BAI Media Release

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