French Open Badminton 2019, Rankireddy-Shetty vs Endo-Watanabe: Where to watch, TV schedule, live stream details and more
That Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are one of the best doubles pairs India has ever produced was evident when they reached the quarter-finals of the French Open two years ago. The fighting spirit, the hunger to excel, and the composure under pressure were all evident.
In the Round of 16, they held their nerves to upstage the Danish pairing of Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding in three gruelling games to advance to the last-eight. If anybody expected them to be tired after that marathon effort, then they were in for a surprise when the Indians nearly upset the London Olympic silver medallist pair of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen before accepting defeat.
Rankireddy and Shetty simply showed the world in 2017 what they were capable of. If that season was their first brush of playing at the highest echelons of badminton, then for the next couple of seasons they kept working hard to prove that they really belong there.
In 2018, they went one better in Paris to make it to the semis. It took only some nerves of steel from the World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo to stop them in 21-17, 26-24. That second game score reflects the kind of fightback and resilience they produced despite dropping the opener.
All those efforts culminated into what everybody was waiting for - a Super 500 title at the Thailand Open this year, which well and truly established them as one of the contenders for the biggest titles of the sport.
Once again the Indian duo have come back to Paris and have kept impressing badminton aficionados with their relentless aggression and their never-say-die attitude to make it to the semis. That they really belong in the top tier was obvious when they didn't celebrate much after getting the biggest scalp of their career in the form of reigning world champions, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, one of the legendary pairs in the game.
With yet another top-10 win over Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, they will now face World No. 6 and 5th seeds Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe for a place in the final. It's a tough proposition on paper for the two young Indians. They have lost both their meetings against the Japanese and that too in straight games.
But both those matches happened before the 2019 season when they were still learning the tricks of the trade. Now as a more mature pair, they should be expected to give their all and stretch this match, even if they can't eventually end up on the winning side.
Here is all you need to know about the French Open:
Tournament: Yonex French Open 2019
Category: Super 750
Location: Paris, France
Dates: October 22-27, 2019
Time: (5) Hiroyuki Endo & Yuta Watanabe vs Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty at approx 10 pm IST on Saturday, October 26, 2019
Where to watch the matches in India?
The French Open matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD.
Live Stream Details and Info for the matches:
Live Stream will be available on hotstar.com.