India Open: Chirag-Satwik, HS Prannoy enter semis
NEW DELHI — India’s Asian Games 2022 gold medallists Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy alongside bronze medallist HS Prannoy recorded contrasting victories and moved into the semi-finals of the India Open 2024, organized by the Badminton Association of India, at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Friday.
While Chirag-Satwik registered a dominating 21-7, 21-10 victory against Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen of Denmark, Prannoy had to fight hard to secure his maiden semi-final berth of the tournament by defeating Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei in a 21-11, 17-21, 21-18 win.
Going all-out attack, Chirag-Satwik began the opening game with a statement of intent by amassing a quick 11-3 lead. The former champions maintained that momentum against the fifth seed to claim the first game in a mere 16-minute span.
Prior to this match, the Danish duo had notched two consecutive victories against Chirag-Satwik. However, the World No.2 put an end to that run by scoring eight consecutive points in the second game to seal the victory and set up a highly anticipated clash with former World Champions Soh Wooi Yik and Aaron Chia of Malaysia.
Commenting on how they managed to secure the victory, Chirag Shetty shared, “Against them (Kim and Anders), it is not always a game where you are challenged skillfully but it is also mentally. Whoever wins the mental battle comes out on top and today we did that quite well. We usually don’t play such mind games, but today we made sure that we only receive and not play at their rhythm. The way we started off was in a convincing fashion and we kept it through the very end. We are really happy with the way we played and we want to keep the momentum for tomorrow as well and give 100%.”
Similar to his compatriots, the World Championships 2023 bronze medallist Prannoy made a strong start against his Taiwanese opponent by winning a 26 point rally and set the tone for the game by establishing a 13-4 lead in the first game. Despite a brief resurgence from Wang, the eighth seed closed out the game quite effortlessly.
The second game saw a rejuvenated Wang taking a lead of 13-6, and though Prannoy tried to narrow the gap, the 28-year-old held on to force a tie-breaker.
There was not much that separated the two players in an intense third game. With the score tied at 16-16, Prannoy seized a two-point lead and ultimately claimed victory in an hour and 17 minutes to hand Wang his fourth quarterfinal exit at the tournament.
“I think it is always tough to play against somebody like Wang Tzu Wei, who is exceptionally good along the net and attack. It was important for me to get that first game because he is somebody who gets going right from the start. The second game didn’t go really well but I am really proud of what I could do in the third game to fight back. Shi Yu Qi has been playing really well in the last six months and he looks pretty solid out there. So it is going to be tough physically and the major thing is to get the body ready for tomorrow,” said HS Prannoy after his victory.
The World No.9 will face sixth-seeded Shi Yu Qui of China in the final four.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu continued his stunning run in the tournament as he triumphed over Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Anthony Ginting of Indonesia with in a thrilling 21-17, 18-21, 21-13 victory.
The 27-year-old continued to build on his advantage and ultimately sealed the victory to set up a semi-final tie against second seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan.
In women’s singles, second seed An-Se Young’s title defence came to an unfortunate end as she had to retire due to injury, handing Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min her first semi-finals berth at the India Open.
Jia Min will face Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, who prevailed against two-time World Championships bronze medallist He Bing Jiao of China with a comfortable 21-12, 21-12 victory.
Elsewhere, former World Champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand clinched a 21-17, 15-21, 27-25 victory over defending champions Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino of Japan.