Masala delight as India win men's doubles in Thailand Open
(*credit image: Times of India)
India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty walked tall after winning the men's doubles in the Toyota Thailand Open for their first Super 500 title with a stunning three-game 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 win over reigning world champions Li Jun Hui-Liu Yuchen in the final.
It has been a fairytale run for the Indians, ranked 16, but unseeded in Bangkok. In the semi-finals, the young Indian pair ousted 2014 world champions Ko Sung-Hyun-Shin Baek Cheol of Korea 22-20, 22-24, 21-9.
Rankireddy is only 18 while Shetty is 22 and they are set to break into the top 10 and pose a serious threat for this year's World Championships which begin in Basel, Switzerland on Aug 18.
"I can't believe that we have just beaten the current world champions," said Shetty in a live on-court interview after the historic win over the second-ranked Chinese pair.
What made their win sweeter was that due to a shoulder injury to Rankireddy started playing only in May. Their previous best was reaching the quarter-finals.
The Rankireddy-Shetty pair was given a standing ovation by the crowd in the Huarmark Indoor Stadium. For their efforts, they went home USD27,650 richer - their biggest paycheque.
In the men's singles, Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei and Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong China were involved in an energy-sapping final before the former prevailed 21-14, 11-21, 23-21 in 66 minutes.
So tired were the players that both laid flat on the court after the winning point was secured by the third-ranked Tien Chen after he had saved four championship points.
"I love you guys," said Tien Chen in an on-court interview after the final.
There was heartbreak for Thailand when their badminton queen Ratchanok Intanon failed to win her third women's singles Thailand Open title. The former world No 1, seeded six, was edged out 20-22, 18-21 by top seed Chen Yufei of China.
There was also no joy for Japan's Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino when the third-ranked pair went down fighting in their 22-24, 21-23 defeat to China's second-ranked Wang Yilyu- Huang Dongping in the mixed doubles final.
Japan, however, won the first title of the day through their women's doubles Shiho Tanaka-Koharu Yonemoto. They beat China's Du Yue-Li Yin Hui 21-19, 14-21, 21-13 in the final which stretched for 84 minutes.
RESULTS (ALL FINALS)
Shiho Tanaka-Koharu Yonemoto )JPN) beat Du Yue-Li Yin Hui (CHN) 21-19, 14-21, 21-13
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (IND) beat Li Jun Hui-Liu Yuchen (CHN) 21-19, 18-21, 21-18
Chou Tien Chen (TPE) beat Angus Ng Ka Long (HKG) 21-14, 11-21, 23-21
Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (CHN) beat Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (JPN) 24-22, 23-21
Chen Yufei (CHN) beat Ratchanok Intanon (THA) 22-20, 21-18