China Open: Satwiksairaj, Chirag stun former world champs to enter semifinals

On a roll
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, left, and Chirag Shetty continued their prolific run on Friday as they entered the semifinals of the China Open. File photo

Fuzhou (China): Indian men's star doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty continued their prolific run on Friday as they entered the semifinals of the ongoing China Open upsetting world No. 3 pair of Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen.

The Indian duo defeated the former world champions 21-19, 21-15 in the quarterfinal clash which lasted 43 minutes at the Haixia Olympics Sports Center.

In what was a rematch of the Thailand Open final, the Indian duo took a 3-0 lead in the first game and conceded it only once at 17-16. Both Satwiksairaj and Chirag came up with amazing reflexes and they took the first game 21-19.

The second game followed a similar script, with the Indians going one step further by staying ahead throughout the course of the game. The Chinese opponents did try to take the match into the decider but Satwik and Chirag applied an aggressive approach to win the game 21-15 to register their second straight win against their opponents.

The world No. 9 Indian pair will now face top-ranked Indonesian pair of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon who defeated the German duo of Marks Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel 21-14, 21-19 to make it to the last four.

Satwik and Chirag had earlier defeated the Japanese pair of Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe 21-18, 21-23, 21-11 in an intense second-round clash. Before that, the Indian duo had beaten the American pair of Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-9, 21-15.

Satwik and Chirag are the lone Indians left in the fray.

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