Thailand Open 2021: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa Lose Hard-Fought Semifinal as India’s Challenge Ends
Earlier in the day, Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty's impressive run also ended with a close semifinal defeat on Saturday.
The Indian challenge ends at the ongoing Toyota Thailand Open Super 1000 as the unseeded Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa bowed out of the competition on Saturday. Satwik and Ashwini lost an intriguing semifinal clash against top-seeded Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 20-22, 21-18, 12-21. The Indians ran out of gas in the third and final game as they failed to match the speed and precision of the Thai pair.
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Earlier in the day, Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty’s impressive run also ended with a close semifinal defeat on Saturday. The world number 10 Indian pair, which won its maiden super 500 title in Thailand and entered the finals of the French open super 750 event in 2019, lost 18-21 18-21 to the world number nine Malayasian combination of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in a 35-minute match.
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The Tokyo Olympics medal contenders had participated in Super 1000 events in 2018 ad 2019 but this is the first time it entered the semifinals.
Satwik and Chirag couldn’t bring their best to the fore as the Malaysian were more alert on the court and also managed to diffuse any attack from the Indian pair to emerge victories.
An extraordinary run comes to an end for the XD pair of @P9Ashwini and @satwiksairaj, despite a strong show.The 🇮🇳s went down 20-22,21-18,12-21 to the No1 seed Thai pair of Dechapol /Sapsiree in the semis of #ThailandOpen2021. Well played guys!#ToyotaThailandOpen #Badminton pic.twitter.com/hnz7F4hD9N
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) January 23, 2021
The Indian pair had a 4-2 lead early on but the Malaysians managed to claw back and eke out a slender 11-10 lead at the break. Satwik and Chirag stayed close till 15-16 when their rivals reeled off four points on the trot to eventually close out the opening game.
In the second game, the Indian duo was up 3-1 but again the Malaysians produced four straight points to move to 7-3. A precise serve and then their rivals finding the net helped Satwik and Chirag to narrow the gap before drawing parity at 8-8.
However, two smashes at the backcourt gave Aaron and Soh a three-point advantage at the interval. India couldn’t breach the gap and with Chirag hitting long, the Malaysian grabbed six match points.
The Indian pair managed to save four match points before Chirag once again found the net as the Malaysians began celebrating.
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