Jakarta: India’s dynamic duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty scripted history by winning the men’s doubles title at the Indonesia Open here on Sunday, becoming the first pair from the country to claim a Super 1000 event.
The Indians outwitted the Malaysian world champion duo of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik 21-17, 21-18 in an intense contest that lasted 43 minutes.
“We had prepared very well for this event. We knew the crowd will be supporting us. They have supported us all week. This has been amazing week for us. We played amazing badminton today. We didn’t have good head-to-head record against them, so wanted to play one point at a time and it fetched the result for us,” said Satwiksairaj after the match.
Satwiksairaj and Chirag gained initiative midway through the first game and they never really gave a sniff to their fancied opponents since then.
In the second game as well, the Indian pair did not allow their opponents to break free and a four-point streak kept them ahead of the curve.
The Indians seemed to be in for a facile victory when the Malaysians nullified four match points to come within sniffing distance of their opponents.
However, Satwiksairaj and Chirag, the world No. 6 pair, who won a gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and bronze at the world championships last year, could not be denied when the score read 20-18 in their favour, and this time they converted the match point to script a magnificent win.
The magnitude of the result can be gauged from the fact that this was the first time Satwiksairaj and Chirag are beating Aaron and Soh in 11 attempts.
In fact, the triumph of Satwiksairaj and Chirag in the Indonesia Open is quite unparalleled as they are the first doubles Indian doubles pair to land the title while Saina Nehwal (2010, 2012) and Kidambi Srikanth (2017) had earlier bagged the singles crown in Jakarta.
The Indian pair is the first doubles team from the country to clinch a Super 1000 title while they also stand as the first ones to win the set of S100, S300, S500, S750 and S1000 events from the country.
Earlier, the 2022 world championships bronze medallists had become the first ever Indian pair to reach the final of any Super 1000 tournament after a sensational comeback to get the better of the Korean combination of Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae 17-21, 21-19 21-18 in a thrilling semi-final.
The Indians, who were also Asian champions, defeated the current world champions in less than an hour.
Chirag was outstanding at the net with his speedy interceptions and defence, and was one of the main reasons behind the Indian pair pulling off the match.
The BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300. One more category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.
Each of these tournaments offers different ranking points and prize money. The Super 1000 level provides the highest number of ranking points and offers the most significant prize pool among all the tiers.
This triumph at the Indonesia Open adds to the Indian duo’s already impressive collection of titles, which includes a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, a gold medal at the Thomas Cup, a bronze medal at the World Championships, and wins at the Super 300 (Syed Modi), Super 500 (Thailand and India Open), and Super 750 (French Open) tournaments.
In the women’s singles final, China’s Chen Yu Fei defeated Spain’s Carolina Marin 21-18, 21-19 to bag the title.