Former champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are on the verge of clinching their first title of the season, advancing to the finals of the India Open Super 750. In a thrilling semifinal clash, the World No. 2 Indian duo displayed remarkable composure, securing a 21-18 21-14 victory over Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia. This achievement follows their runner-up finish at the Malaysia Open Super 1000 last week.
The ecstatic celebration ensued as Satwik and Chirag won 11 of the last 12 points in the second game, marking only their third win against the formidable Malaysian pair. Their triumph ensures that the home challenge remains alive in the Super 750 tournament, following HS Prannoy's defeat by world no. 2 Shi Yu Qi of China in a one-sided contest.
Looking ahead, Satwik and Chirag, the winners of the 2022 edition, are set to face third-seeded Koreans Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae in the summit clash. The intense semifinal witnessed a brief halt at 13-13 in the second game due to an incident where Chirag's return hit Aaron's eyes during a rally. However, play resumed after a short pause, with the Indian pair dominating the proceedings thereafter.
In an earlier match at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Prannoy, the World No. 9 Indian, faced a tough challenge from Shi Yu Qi, ultimately succumbing to a 21-15 21-5 defeat. The Chinese player demonstrated superior court movement, patience, and precision to outwit Prannoy, who struggled, particularly in the second game.
Shi Yu Qi will advance to the finals to face Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu, who surprised World Championships silver medallist Kodai Naraoka of Japan in a three-game thriller. Lee secured his place in the Super 750 men's singles final at the India Open, setting the stage for an exciting showdown.
In women's singles, China's Chen Yu Fei emerged victorious in straight games against compatriot Wang Zhi Yi, securing a place in the final against Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying. The women's singles final promises to be a captivating rematch of the Tokyo Olympics summit clash.
The India Open Super 750 continues to deliver intense badminton action, with players showcasing their skill and determination on the court. Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of this prestigious tournament.
(With Agency Inputs)