India’s men’s doubles combination of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty created history on Sunday by becoming the first pair from the nation to win a Super 500 event.
It is to be noted that their previous coach was Tan Kim Her from Malaysia who left this March, when he was expected to lead his team to the 2020 Olympics. The new coach Dwi Kristiawan’s move to play Satwik proved to be a masterclass.
While results dastically improved in the course of time, it wasn’t easy task for the duo with Satwik playing on despite having a niggle in the shoulder. When asked on his success Satwik without any hesitation put his physio Johnson Solomon and recovery specialist Srinivas in the forefront.
“When we played them at the Australian Open, we lost to them very closely. We understood they (Chinese) were under pressure today but we had none since we were very excited to play our first final. I have some shoulder issues so we had decided that I would play more from the front and Chirag from the back. I was focussing more on the service and the net,” said Satwik.
From the match yesterday it was quit evident that the pair worked on smart rotation of the shuttle to keep their opponents guessing. Even on long rallies the duo never gave up and went on to clinch a well deserved trophy, stunning their opponents.
“It’s the biggest title we have won so far in our career. Right now, I am out of words after playing in a final and beating the current World champions. I am extremely happy,” Chirag said.
Pullela Gopichand was on all praise for the young duo and said that they had answered all the questions that surrounded the doubles game in India.
“I think it is refreshing to see the doubles pair win a major title. The few questions often raised about the general standard of doubles game in India may have been answered with this performance,” chief national coach P. Gopi Chand told Sportstar.
“The best part of this win is they are young and have many weapons in their armoury and they can go a long way. We always believed that they had the potential and the timing of this win could not have come at a better time this being the Olympics qualifying cycle.”
“I will not say that I expected them to win the title, but I am certainly not surprised,”