Satwik and Chirag finish runners-up in French Open

Team Udayavani, Oct 28, 2019, 5:17 PM IST

Paris: The Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s best efforts went in vain as they lost to top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in the final of the French Open Super 750 here.

The duo suffered a 18-21 16-21 loss to Marcus and Kevin, who are enjoying their 121st week as world number one. Satwik and Chirag had come into the match with a 0-6 head-to-head record against the Indonesian pair and it has now become 0-7.

Satwik and Chirag, who had won their maiden Super 500 title at the Thailand Open in August, looked a bit nervy in the 35-minute final.

Despite the loss, the duo’s effort is commendable as this is the first time an Indian men’s doubles pair has reached a World Tour 750 final.

Partho Ganguli and Vikram Singh Bisht were the last all-Indian pair to win the French Open in 1983.

In singles, Kidambi Srikanth had won the men’s title in 2017, while Saina Nehwal was the only other Indian to make it to the women’s final in 2012.

Satwik and Chirag looked rusty in the match and didn’t have a good start as the world no 1 Indonesian pair moved to a huge 7-1 lead.

The Indian duo showed the stomach to fight, clawing their way back at 17-17 with some clever play from Satwik and equally supported by Chirag.

However, the Indonesians soon grabbed three game points. The Indians saved one but lost the next to hand over the game to the Indonesians.

In the second game, the Indians fell back a bit before levelling the scores at 6-6 with Satwik winning a video referral.

The two pairs moved together till 10-10 before the Indians netted one as Marcus and Kevin went into the break with a slender one-point advantage.

Marcus and Kevin then broke off at 12-12 and gathered some quick points to move to 18-13 by putting continuous pressure on the Indians. The Indonesian duo soon grabbed four match points and sealed their seventh title of the year after Satwik hit out.

The World No. 11 Indian pair had an impressive week as they shocked reigning world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, before scripting stunning wins over World No. 8 Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and World No. 6 Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe.

“We have a similar kind of game but we made mistakes. We should have slowed down the game. It was not nerves, may be if we could have won the first game, things could have been different,” Chirag told PTI.

“We made slow starts in both the games in the final. Kevin and Marcus dominated the first seven points but we fought back to 17-17. With a bit of luck and better shot selection we could have won.”

About their performance this week, Chirag said: “We are happy with the way we played this week. It has been pretty good seven days. I would rate it the second best because of course Thailand open win was the best we played.”

Meanwhile, Rio Olympics champion fifth seed Chinese Chen Long grabbed the men’s singles trophy with a 21-19 21-12 win over Indonesia’s Jonathan Christie in the final which lasted 51 minutes. Long became the second shuttler in the history of French Open to retain the title since India’s Vimal Kumar did in 1983-84.
In the women’s section, Korean teen sensation An Se-young stunned reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in an epic final to lift the women’s singles title at the French Open badminton tournament, here on Sunday.

The 17-year-old Korean erased a one-game deficit to beat the three-time World Champion 16-21 21-18-21-5 in a gripping 69-minute contest.

It was Se-young’s fourth title of the season and first at BWF Super 750 level as she further underlined her growth as a world class shuttler.

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