There were better doubles teams in the fray but it was the self-belief and not for once feeling “inferior compared to others” was the key to their success at the Thailand Open, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy said on Monday.
The Hyderabad teenager and his partner Chirag Shetty arrived here but with only 24 hours gone, the aftertaste is yet to sink in. “I am very happy to win the tournament. I am still watching videos on how I played. We played like champions. We never felt inferior,” Satwiksairaj told reporters on arrival after being a part of first Indian pair to win a Super 500 event.
The semi-final win was a special one for them as they beat a much superior Korean pair of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol – the duo they have always looked up to. “They (Hyun and Cheol) were idols for both of us. We had learnt a lot watching them perform,” he said.
Satwiksairaj also said senior players like Saina Nehwal, P Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth appreciated them a lot for their splendid victory. He hoped that the badminton doubles would get a boost with their win and the format would get more recognition.
“I got many messages that doubles will now get due recognition because of us. feel slowly people would start recognizing doubles, Satwiksairaj said. Chirag said they can work on improving various aspects of their game, mainly defense. He hoped that they can break into top five if they keep improving.
High on confidence after the win, the duo is now focused on defending their title in upcoming Hyderabad Open. “There are expectations. Because we won Thailand Open. This time around, there are a lot more players because since it’s an Olympic year. The competition is lot more tougher this time. But, we beat the current world champions. We have to give our best. If we play well, we can win this tournament,” Shetty said.