A large number of top-level sportspersons and their parents are superstitious. On every big occasion, players need that extra help from some unknown force to bail them out and help them emerge victorious.
While Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty were battling against the formidable Indonesians, Kasi Viswanath and his wife Rangamani were praying for India's success at Tirupati temple.
Their prayers seemed to be answered as Satwiksairaj and Chirag saved four match points in the second game to quell the spirited challenge from the Indonesians in the crucial doubles contest.
World No. 8 Satwik and Chirag rallied splendidly to defeat Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19 in a pulsating first doubles match that lasted an hour and 13 minutes.
The heroics of Satwik and Chirag helped India increase their score to 2-0 before Kidambi Srikanth delivered a knock-out punch in the third match of the best-of-five tie.
Kasi Viswanath, father of Satwik, said he did not see the match on TV as he and his wife were sitting in the daily pooja in Tirupati temple. In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Viswanath revealed this amazing fact.
"We were inside the temple praying for the Indian team's win over Indonesia. We were sitting with around a thousand devotees as part of the auspicious pooja when India clashed with mighty Indonesia. We were there for more than three hours in the morning. When we returned to the hotel, Srikanth was approaching his win."
Satwiksairaj's father said their son told them to pray for the Indian team's win in the Thomas Cup. They traveled from their native place Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, to Tirupati on Sunday morning to fulfill their son’s wish.
“He messaged us this morning saying please pray for the Indian team in the Thomas Cup final. He did not call as he was so focussed on the job. We understood his feelings and did not bother him too much. We just wanted India to win the final. It was such a big day for all of us. We are glad that Satwik and Chirag pulled of that all-important match for the country."
Kasi Viswanath, a former national-level basketball player and ace athlete, said the comeback of Denmark coach Mathias Boe boosted the confidence of the boys.
“It is good that Boe has come back again as the coach of the doubles team. It certainly adds to the advantage. He was there last year during the Olympics and the Danish coach has so much experience with him. Both Satwik and Chirag are happy with Boe’s appointment as the full-time coach of the Indian badminton doubles team."
Chirag is my third son, says Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s mother Rangamani
Satwiksairaj's mother, Rangamani, treats Chirag also as her son and said the win was possible because of the proper understanding between the two players.
"I have two sons but ever since Satwik started playing with Chirag, I started to treat him like my son. They are like real brothers. They have the best understanding of each other on and off the court. They gel well on the court. Both Satwik and Chirag never complained or argued against each other during matches. They always encourage each other and that is the secret to their success."
Satwik's older brother Charan has settled in Dallas, USA. His parents said his eldest son and daughter-in-law watched the match live on TV.
Chirag called us after the victory, says Chandrashekhar Shetty
Mumbai-based Chandrashekhar Shetty said his son Chirag called him after India beat defending champions Indonesia 3-0 in the Thomas Cup final.
“Chirag spoke with everyone at home after the 3-0 win. He was so happy and emotional. It was certainly one of the happiest days of our lives. When Chirag and Satwik were trailing in the second game after losing the first game, we were quite nervous. However, Chirag and Satwik rose to the occasion to clinch a memorable win."
In all three knock-out rounds, Satwiksairaj and Chirag maintained their unbeaten run to guide India to a historic Thomas Cup triumph.