French Open Badminton: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty bow out
Indian youngsters Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost to World no. 1 Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon of Indonesia in the semi-finals of the 2018 French Open, a Super 750 BWF World Tour event. With their loss, the Indian campaign ended, with no player reaching the final in Paris.
The top three singles players, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, all lost their matches at the quarter-final stage to Tai Tzu Ying, He Bingjiao, and Kento Momota respectively.
Earlier Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo took a 6-0 and 11-3 lead in the opening game. The Indian duo closed down the gap to 12-9 but the Asian Games Gold medallists in men's doubles extended their lead to 19-9 and eventually won the game by 21-11.
Satwiksairaj and Chirag S. started well in the second game by taking a lead of 5-1 but the Indonesians took the lead by 11-9 in the mid-game intervals. The Indians tried to outplay the World No.1s but Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo’s time-to-time anticipation and quick flat game and Gideon's smashes made it difficult for the Indian pair to take a lead and they tied up at 19-all.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallists in 2018 saved three match points in the second game but failed to convert the 2 game point opportunities. Finally, the Indonesians closed down the match by 26-24 in total of 42 minutes.
The Indonesians will now play against another young pair and former Asian and world junior champions, Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong of China. They beat Lee Jhe-huei and Lee Yang of Chinese Taipei in three games by 13-21, 21-18, 21-17 in 52 minutes.
This is the second time this year that the young Indian pair bowed out at the semi-final stage of a BWF tournament to the same Indonesian pair. Earlier, they lost in the semi-finals at the 2018 Indonesia Masters Super 500.