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BWF World Championships 2023: Satwik-Chirag pair enters quarters, Treesa-Gayatri pair exits

Star Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stood one step away from another World Championships medal after reaching the quarterfinals with a three-game win over Indonesia’s Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin here on Thursday.

The world number two pair, which had claimed a maiden bronze in the last edition, bounced back from a mid-game slump to outwit Carnando and Marthin, ranked 10th, 21-15, 19-21, 21-9 in the round of 16 match that lasted a little over an hour.

The Commonwealth Games champions, who won four titles this season, will meet either 11th seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen from Denmark or Malaysian seventh seeded combination of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi next.

Earlier, the women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who reached the semifinals of the All England Championships in the last two editions, couldn’t sustain the attack and went down 14-21, 9-21 in 42 minutes against top seeded Chinese duo of Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan.

It was only the second meeting between Gayatri-Treesa and the Chinese pair with the Indians having lost to the world number one Chinese team at the German Open last year.

Chen and Jia are three-time gold medallists at the World Championships, won three BWF titles, and finished runner-up twice this season.

Satwik and Chirag showed great anticipation and execution to dish out an attacking game.

Chirag was simply superb with his interceptions as he glided through the court and punished any weak returns from their rivals.

The Indian pairs had a slow start but Chirag and Satwik soon stepped up, bringing more discipline in their approach.

The Indians rained down their cross court returns with Chirag patrolling the front court. Soon Satwik unleashed his explosive smash to grab a three-point lead at the breather.

The Indonesian tried to fight back with a couple of points but couldn’t break the strong defence of the Indians, who quickly extended the lead to 15-10.

Satwik and Chirag got into position quickly and kept the intense pressure on their rivals. The Indians were on the money during the flat cross fast exchanges.

A booming backhand gave the Indians six game points. The Indonesians saved one before spraying the serve into the net.

After the change of sides, Chirag took a medical timeout after feeling discomfort near his right knee.

Marthin and Carnando managed to lead 2-1 but they couldn’t build up the pressure with Satwik unleashing his booming smash to move to 5-5.

Satwik and Chirag served well and went for the kill. Another angled jump smash from Satwik on Marthin’s body took them to 10-7. Chirag then sent a return to serve away to take 11-8 lead at the interval again.

The momentum shifted after the break with Marthin and Carnando reeling off six straight points to take a lead with the former showing some good interception.

Satwik was called for a service error due to height as the Indonesians led 16-13. Carnando pushed one to the net and Chirag then kept a rally alive with a series of backhand returns before unleashing a smash.

The Indonesians started extending the rallies and soon the two pairs were level at 18-18. A Satwik lift going long was neutralized by a cross court smash by Chirag. But the Indonesians produced two winners to roar back into the contest.

Back to the winning side, the Indians were locked 4-4 at one stage but soon they won seven of the next nine points to take a five-point cushion at the break.

After the change of sides, the Indians ran away with the match with the Indonesians committing too many errors. One such hit going to net gave 12 match points to the Indians and Satwik ended the agony of their rivals with another cross court return.

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