The men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the only Indians left standing, entered the semi-finals of the Korea Open with a comprehensive over Japan’s former world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi on Friday.
The world No 3 pair took just 40 minutes to get the better of their fifth seeded opponents 21-14, 21-17 at the Super 500 tournament.
Satwik and Chirag will next take on second seeds Wei Keng Liang and Chang Wang of China, who are one of the most consistent men’s doubles pair this season. They have a superior 2-0 record against the Indians, with their meeting coming earlier this year. They had won the India Open in January and reached the final of the All England.
The quarterfinal was a a neck and neck affair till the first six points before the Indians surged ahead pocketing four straight points. Once ahead, Satwik and Chirag maintained the lead to bag the first game easily.
The Indians made a slow start in the second game as they trailed 3-6, but lifted their game just in time to grab six consecutive points and lead 14-9.
The Japanese pair, however, had a brief comeback. They played aggressively and were also helped by some unforced errors by the Indians to draw level at 16-16. But Satwik and Chirag stepped up on the accelerator at that point to win the game in straight sets.
The Indians, now at a career high ranking of world No 3, are laying their first tournament since winning the Indonesia Open Super 1000 last month. They are the only Indians to make a mark this week, with everyone else exiting in the first two rounds.
Source : ESPN