Doubles specialists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty extended their splendid run by clinching the Korea Open badminton title on Sunday.
The third seeds annexed their fourth title of the year and their first in Korea as they rallied to beat world No. 1 Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia 17-21, 21-13, 21-14.
This was the Indian duo’s third straight victory against the Indonesians, who won silver at the Asian Games and are two-time bronze medallists at the World championships.
The Indians have won all the four finals they played. They won the Swiss Open Super-300 tournament on March 26, became Asian champions on April 30, claimed their first Super-1000 title at the Indonesia Open on June 18 and on Sunday won in Yeosu, South Korea.
Shetty said that they were happy to win. “We didn’t start well but are happy we could win that second game and keep the momentum until the end. Extremely happy we could win consecutive titles. ”
Satwik said that they played some amazing badminton this week. “It’s been a pretty good week for us. I am happy with the performance today. We want to maintain the momentum next week in Japan. So, we’ll rest and focus again,” added Satwik and thanked their supporters.
The final was a see-saw battle with the world No. 1 Indonesian duo keeping the shuttle flat. They seized control at the net and dominated the first game. They led 18-10 before the Indians won six straight points. But the gap was too big.
The second game saw Satwik-Chirag pushing the shuttle back. Once they got the height, Satwik-Chirag smashed hard. Their rivals found it hard to return the smashes and the Indians started controlling the pace.
With their coach Mathias Boe taking a break, chief coach Pullela Gopichand filled in for him. Gopi said consistency and power are the key to the Indian duo’s dominance. “They were consistent throughout the week. While their opponents found it difficult to return their smashes, Satwik-Chirag’s retrieving was good. That is why they were able to claim more points,” said Gopichand.