Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty entered the semifinals of the Korea Open.© AFP
Star Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty entered the semifinals of the Korea Open Super 500 tournament with a straight game win over Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi on Friday. The world No.3 Indian combination, seeded third here, took just 40 minutes to get the better of the fifth seeded Japanese pair 21-14 21-17. Satwik and Chirag will take on second seeds Wei Keng Liang and Chang Wang of China, who are the 2021 world champions in men’s doubles.
Satwik and Chirag are now India’s flag bearers in the tournament after the premature exits of PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth among others.
Playing their first tournament since winning the Indonesia Open Super 1000 last month, it was a neck and neck affair till the first six points before the Indians surged ahead pocketing four straight points.
Once ahead, Satwik and Chirag managed to keep their nose in front to bag the first game easily.
The Indians made a slow start in the second game as they trailed 3-6, but lifted their game just in time to claw back to grab six consecutive points to lead 14-9.
The Japanese pair, however, were in no mood to give up without a fight. They played aggressively and were also helped by some unforced errors by the Indians to draw level at 16-16.
But Satwik and Chirag stepped up on the accelerator at that point to win the game to assure themselves a place in the last-four stage.
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