Day 4 of the 2023 Korea Open in Yeosu began with palpitating anticipation and frayed nerves for Indian badminton fans as they waited for men's doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty to work their magic on the court.
The third seeds Rankireddy and Shetty were up against a deadly Japanese duo and the fifth seeds Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi. In their previous four face-offs, the Indians have gotten the better of their opponents on three occasions.
Once again, in a display of skillful playing, Rankireddy and Chirag demolished the Japanese pair in 40 minutes. Rankireddy, who recently set the Guinness World Record for the fastest smash at 565 kmph, dominated the backcourt, hitting smashes and slices in a single action.
Capitalizing on his partner's power, Shetty showed incredible agility, complete with delicate touches at the net. At the end of the match, the scoreboard read 21-14, 21-17 in favor of the Indians.
The win keeps Indian fans engaged and waiting for the semifinals on Saturday, July 22.
The rest of the Indian contingent dropped out after the round of 16 on Thursday, July 20, as HS Prannoy and Priyanshu Rajawat went down fighting against Lee Cheuk Yiu and Kodai Naraoka, respectively. At the same time, the mixed-doubles duo of Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy fell short against Feng Yanzhe and Huang Dongping, while women's doubles pair of Gayatri Gopichand Pullela and Treesa Jolly were unable to outskill Koreans Baek Ha-na and Lee So-hee.
Korea Open 2023: Day 4 Results for India
Men's Doubles - Quarter Finals
Satwiksairaj/Chirag (India) beat Takuro/Yugo (Japan) 21-14, 21-17
With this win, all Indian fans will wait for the men's doubles semifinals at the 2023 Korea Open on Saturday, July 22. The homeboys are looking forward to an exciting match against China's Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang.
Liang and Wang are currently ranked a spot higher than the Indian duo in the BWF World Tour rankings, as they hold the second spot. The pair has edged ahead of Rankireddy and Shetty in both their previous encounters.
However, with their unbeatable form this year and the fact that they are yet to drop a single game this tournament, the Indians will draw immense confidence going into the penultimate match at the Korea Open.