Bangkok, Aug 5:
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty on Sunday created history by becoming the first Indian pair to win a BWF Super 500 badminton tournament, stunning reigning world champions Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen in the final of Thailand Open here.
India’s top men”s doubles duo of Rankireddy and Shetty posted a hard-fought 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 win to claim its biggest career title after battling for an hour and two minutes against the third seeded Chinese combo.
This was not only their first triumph at Super 500 level and above but also the most prestigious doubles title for India since the inception of the ranking system.
This achievement will also propel the current World No. 16 Indian combination into the top 10 for the first time, making it the first-ever Indian men’s doubles duo to enter the elite bracket.
This was the first final of the 2019 season for the unseeded Indian pair, doubles silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
During the thrilling summit clash against the World No. 2 Chinese team, Rankireddy displayed brilliant anticipation and extraordinary placements from the front court, while Shetty controlled the backcourt effortlessly.
Li and Liu had earlier this year beaten the Indians at Australian Open.
“When we played them at the Australian Open, we lost to them very closely. We understood they were under pressure today but we had none since we were very excited to play our first final,” said Rankireddy.
“I have some shoulder issues so we had decided that I would play more from the front and Chirag from the back. I was focussing more on the service and the net,” he added.