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Malaysia Open 2024: Satwik-Chirag bags runner-up medal after final loss against Wang-Kiang

Published at :January 14, 2024 at 5:41 PM
Modified at :January 16, 2024 at 12:44 PM
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(Courtesy : Screenshot/Jio Cinema)

Ajay Gandhar

Satchi became the first Indian pair to reach the finals of the Malaysia Open.

India’s ace men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty missed out on their second BWF Super 1000 title as they lost to China’s World No.1 duo Wang Chang and Liang Weikeng in a thrilling final at the Malaysia Open 2024 on Sunday.

The Indian duo, ranked second in the world, put up a valiant fight against the top seeds and world champions, but went down 21-9, 18-21, 17-21.

Satwik and Chirag started the match on a high note, dominating the first game with their aggressive and fast-paced game. They raced to a 11-4 lead and never looked back, wrapping up the game in just 13 minutes.

However, the Chinese pair bounced back in the second game, matching the Indians’ intensity and finding their rhythm. They led 11-9 at the interval and maintained their advantage till the end, leveling the match at one game apiece.

The third game was a roller-coaster ride, with both pairs displaying their skills and resilience. Satwik and Chirag looked set to create history as they opened up a 10-3 lead, but Wang and Liang staged a remarkable comeback, winning 12 of the next 14 points to take a 15-12 lead.

The Indians tried to fight back, but the Chinese pair held their nerve and closed out the match with a smash from Wang.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Satwik-Chirag, who had become the first Indians in any discipline to reach the final of the Malaysia Open in the Open Era by defeating Korean pair Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae 21-18, 22-20 in straight games.

They had also defeated the same Chinese pair in the final of the Indonesian Open in 2019, their maiden Super 1000 title.

Despite the loss, Satwik and Chirag can take pride in their performance at the Malaysia Open, where they beat some of the best pairs in the world, including the world no. 3 Koreans Seo Seung Jae and Kang Min Hyuk in the semifinals.

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Satwik-Chirag have been the most successful Indian players in the circuit last year, having won the Asian Games gold, titles, Indonesian Super 1000, Korea Super 500, and Swiss Open Super 300. They also reached the finals of China Masters Super 750 in November last year.

However, the rest of the Indian contingent had a disappointing outing, as none of the other players could make it to the last four.

In the men’s singles, HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen crashed out in the opening round, losing to Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and China’s Wen Hong Yang respectively. Kidambi Srikanth, the only Indian to reach the second round, succumbed to a straight-game defeat against Hong Kong China Angus K Long.

The women’s doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto showed some resilience but eventually lost to the Japanese pair of R Iwanaga and K Nakanishi in the quarterfinals.

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