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Indonesia Open: Satwik and Chirag overcome stiff challenge to enter men’s doubles final

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JAKARTA, June 17 (PTI): Star Indian men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty overcame a game deficit to beat Min Hyuk Kang and Seung Jae Seo of Korea in a tough battle to enter the final of the Indonesia Open World Tour Super 1000 event here on Saturday.

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The seventh seeded Indian duo had to fight it out for one hour and seven minutes to defeat the unseeded Korean pair 17-21 21-19 21-18 in the semifinal.

By virtue of this win, the Indians now enjoy a 3-2 head-to-head record over Kang and Seo.

Satwik and Chirag, ranked sixth in the world, will face the winner of the other semifinal between Indonesia’s Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan and second seeds Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh of Malaysia in their maiden World Tour Super 1000 final.

The match started on an even kneel before the Korean pair surged ahead to 6-3.

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Once they conceded the lead, Satwik and Chirag were forced to play catch-up badminton in the rest of the first game.

The Indians used their aggressive play to reduce the margin to 15-19 and then 17-20 before Kang and Seo kept their composure to pocket the first game, courtesy an unforced error.

Trailing, the reigning Commonwealth Games champions, looked more purposeful after the change of ends and took an early 6-3 lead before racing to 11-4 with a flurry of fast paced shots and body smashes in the second game.

Satwik and Chirag were also helped by some bad line calls and unforced errors from the Koreans.

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But Kang and Seo didn’t give up and clawed their way back in the game to reduce the gap to 18-15.

But the Indians managed to held on to their nerves and played sensibly to pocket the second game and level the scores.

The decider went neck and neck till the first five points before Satwik and Chirag pocketed seven straight points to race to 12-5 lead.

The Koreans tried hard to bounce back and at one time levelled the scores at 16-16 but that is when Satwik and Chirag put their foot on the accelerator and relied on their aggressive play to keep their nose ahead and finally closed out the game and the match.

The BWF World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300 in order. One other 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 highest points and prize pool is offered at the Super 1000 level.



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