Swiss Open Super 300: Satwik-Chirag survive match points to win; Prannoy, defending champ Sindhu outMarch 25, 2023
Second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty survived a marathon men’s doubles round of 16 match on Thursday in Basel at the Swiss Open Super 300, saving four match points to progress to the quarterfinals.
The Indians had to first fight back from a game down and then 3-9 down in the decider, to prevail against Chinese Taipei’s Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee 12-21 21-17 28-26. The world No 70 pair also saved four match points on their part before Satwik-Chirag prevailed.
The men’s doubles second seeds were the sole winners from the Indian contingent on an otherwise forgettable day in Basel.
Defending champion PV Sindhu, last year’s finalist HS Prannoy, former champion Srikanth Kidambi, and national champion Mithun Manjunath were all on the losing side on Thursday as the singles results in 2023 continue to remain sub-par for India on the BWF World Tour.
No Indian has reached a singles semifinal this season on the 2023 BWF World Tour calendar, and this is the eighth event.
Satwik-Chirag scrape through
Having only recently returned to the tour after Satwik’s injury earlier this year, the Indian duo were off-colour in the opening game that they never seemed close to winning. Lee/Lee were gifted plenty of points as they took the lead. The second game, irrespective of the scoreline, saw Satwik-Chirag play much better and eventually they forced the decider. But when it seemed the momentum was with them, Lee/Lee raced ahead to a 9-3 lead at the start of the third game.
After the interval, the Indians started clawing their way back and it was them who had the first match points at 20-18. The Taipei pair saved both before having match points of their own. Chirag had to dig really deep to save one of the match points and the Indians eventually won 28-26.
The Indians will take on Jeppe Bay and Lasse Mølhede of Denmark in the quarterfinals. Satwik-Chirag hold a 1-0 advantage against the world No 27 Danes, with the win coming last year at the World Championships.
The good news ended there for Indian contingent though. The day started with Srikanth Kidambi contriving to lose the opening from 20-16 up and eventually the match in straight games. The Indian, who had won the 2015 edition of the event, looked set to take the lead against Lee Cheuk Yiu, the world No 19 from Hong Kong who had ended Lakshya Sen’s campaign on day two. After dropping the game, Srikanth didn’t quite manage to find his footing again.
Then came Mithun, who started well against Chia Hao Lee in the opening game but couldn’t sustain in the second game.
There was disappointment to follow for 2022 finalist and 2016 winner Prannoy too. The India No 1 had a day to forget against the young and powerful Frenchman Christo Popov, who hit through the Indian to win 21-8, 21-8. It proved to be an off day for Prannoy, who had produced a superb win against All England finalist Shi Yu Qi late the previous night.
The biggest disappointment came late on when PV Sindhu, who has a fabulous record at St Jakobshalle, bowed out in three games against world No 38 Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia. The 20-year-old took the opening game but Sindhu fought back with a dominant showing in the second. The Indian, who had reached the last two finals here, however paid the price for the poor start she had to the decider, trailing 5-11 at the interval. Though she managed to save a few match points in the end, Putri emerged deserved winner.