Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have recorded so many brilliant wins in their career but today’s win over Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang must rank as one of the best victories of their career.
Chinese Taipei pair Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang are ranked at World No. 3 and were riding on a wave of confidence on the back of their 15 successive wins.
Chirag and Satwiksairaj knew they had to produce something extraordinary to beat them. The World No. 10 Indian duo did exactly that. Both Chirag and Satwiksairaj were on a mission from the beginning and stunned third seeds Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang 21-16, 16-21, 27-25 in 66 minutes.
Dubbed the "Group of Death," every match is like a knock-out contest for Chirag and Satwik in Group A.
The significant factor which helped Chirag-Satwik to surprise their higher-ranked opponents was confidence. The young Indian duo are confident in their abilities and know they can beat anyone if they play at their highest level.
They had a game plan and executed it quite well to start their Tokyo Olympics campaign on a successful note.
The guidance of former Denmark World No. 1 doubles star Mathias Boe also helped the duo of Chirag-Satwik a great deal. The Danish doubles legend has been coaching the Indian pair for the last seven months and knows how to extract the best performance from them.
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Chirag and Satwik played confidently, says former Indian shuttler Uday Pawar
Former Indian badminton team player Uday Pawar also acknowledged the role of Mathias Boe in shaping today’s spectacular win over the in-form Chinese Taipei pair. Uday Pawar said:
“They both played confidently as I feel that tactically they had a plan and were aware of what they had to do to nullify their opponents speed and power. The presence of Mathias Boe by the courtside made them stay calm in tight situations and helped them to play to their own strengths."
Uday Pawar trained Chirag during his sub-junior and junior days at the Goregaon Sports Club in Mumbai. Whenever Chirag is in Mumbai and there are no national camps or tournaments, he bides his time by playing at the Goregaon Sports Club.
Recently during the lockdown last year, there was no national camp in Hyderabad and Chirag trained at Uday Pawar Badminton Academy for a few months. On several occasions, Boe, who was on a personal visit to Mumbai, also played with Chirag and guided him.
Receiving and service were excellent from Chirag-Satwik: Vijaydeep Singh
Another former Indian doubles player and now one of the coaches at the national camp, Vijaydeep Singh Nita, praised the efforts of Chirag and Satwik.
“Satwik and Chirag played an excellent game. They showed a lot of control in short rallies. From the beginning they put pressure on Chinese Taipei players. Receiving and service are the two most important things in doubles and they were spot on. In the third game there was a lot of pressure on both of the pairs but Satwik and Chirag won some superb rallies and finally won the extended game at 27-25,” said Vijaydeep Singh.
The Patiala-based coach added that this sensational win over higher-ranked opponents will certainly boost the confidence of Chirag-Satwik for the remainder of the tournament.
“It is a very good victory for them under tremendous pressure. This win will boost their confidence for the next matches. I am optimistic about their better performance from now on,” said 49-year-old Vijaydeep Singh.
In their second league outing, Chirag and Satwik will lock horns with top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia on Sunday. Their final group match will be against Ben Lane and Sean Vendy of England. Only the top two pairs in the four-team group will qualify for the quarter-finals.