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Rankireddy-Shetty create Indian badminton history

Last updated on: August 04, 2019 20:24 IST

IMAGE: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, left, and Chirag Shetty in action. Photograph: Badminton Association of India/Twitter

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty became the first Indian pair to win a BWF Super 500 badminton tournament when they scored a hard-fought victory over Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen of China in the final of Thailand Open, in Bangkok, on Sunday.

The unseeded Indians beat the third-seeded Chinese 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 in 62 minutes.

It was the first final of the 2019 season for Rankireddy and Shetty, the men's doubles silver medallists at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

 

Rankireddy and Shetty got off to a good start and broke away from 3-3 to open up a 10-6 lead before the Chinese pair made it 14-14.

It was a closely fought affair after that and the world No. 16 Indian pair could take a slight edge only at 20-18.

Although the Chinese duo narrowed the gap to 19-20, the Indians won the crucial point to wrap up the first game.

In the second, the Indians moved to a 6-2 lead, but the Chinese soon bridged the gap to 5-6 before catching up at 11.

After the break, the Chinese surged ahead to 13-11 but the Indians lifted their game and drew parity at 13.

The Indians then overtook their opponents to 16-14 and led 18-16 before the Chinese pair won five consecutive points to stun the Indians and take the match to the decider.

Rankireddy and Shetty were slow off the blocks in the third game but did well to level the score at 6. From there on they never looked back and kept their composure to maintain the edge over their opponents till the end.

Even though the Chinese pair fought back and at one stage reduced the gap to 18-19, the Indians went on to pocket two consecutive points and seal victory.

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