French Open Badminton: Indian campaign ends with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s semi-final defeat
A year after Kidambi Srikanth won the men’s singles title, the Indian campaign met with a premature end in the semi-finals of the French Open 2018 as the men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty crashed out. The young Indian pair squandered a couple of game point opportunities in the second game to suffer a 12-21, 24-26 defeat at the hands of the World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia.
Satwik and Chirag had made it to the quarter-finals of this Paris tournament last year, which they improved upon this year. This was also their second semi-final in a major event, having bowed out to Gideon and Sukamuljo in the semi-finals of the Indonesia Masters earlier in January.
While they could not do much to stop the Indonesian juggernaut in the first game, they put on a much better display in the second. However, they were unable to build on their 5-1 lead as the irrepressible Indonesians came storming back.
The highly competitive second game reached its climax once the score got levelled at 19-19. The Indians managed to save three match points, but their inability to convert one of the two game points undid all the good work that they had done up until that point. Finally, their stiff resistance fell in 42 minutes.
Earlier, India’s singles challenge had ended in the quarter-finals due to the losses of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth. Saina could not take advantage of three game points and went down to World No. 1 and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying 20-22, 11-21.
Srikanth too could not complete a turnaround in the second game, having gone up 19-17 from 10-17. His failure to take any further point saw him succumb to a 16-21, 19-21 defeat to world champion Momota.
World No. 2 PV Sindhu wasn’t in her element at all and couldn’t put up much of a fight in a 13-21, 16-21 loss to former champion and seventh seed He Bingjiao.
The top Indian shuttlers will next turn their attention to the Asian swing, that begins with the China Open on November 6.