Malaysia Open: Satwik-Chirag Reach Men’s Doubles Semis, Ponnappa-Crasto Bow Out

In a stellar performance at the Malaysia Open Super 1000 tournament, Indian badminton duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty secured their spot in the semifinals by defeating China’s Ren Xiang Yu and He Ji Ting in straight games. The world number 2 Indian pair demonstrated control in rallies and proactive play at the net, clinching a dominant 21-11, 21-8 victory in just 35 minutes.

Having previously won the Asian Games gold medal, the second-seeded Indians are set to face either Korea’s Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae or the third-seeded Malaysian pair of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the semifinals.

On the women’s doubles front, Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto faced a setback with a 15-21, 13-21 loss to Japan’s Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi in the quarterfinals. Despite their earlier triumph against former world champions, the Indian pair couldn’t maintain the momentum, succumbing to the Japanese duo in a 39-minute match. This marked their second defeat to the world no. 15 Japanese pair, following their narrow loss in the Syed Modi International Super 300 finals in Lucknow last month.

Ponnappa and Crasto, ranked 24th globally, had previously claimed victory at the Guwahati Masters Super 100 and reached the finals in two other events in Lucknow and Odisha last month.

Satwik and Chirag, coming off a sensational 2023 season with six titles, showcased a near-perfect game against their Chinese opponents. The Indian duo dominated from the start, taking a 7-0 lead and maintaining control throughout the match. With an 11-2 lead at the break, they swiftly closed out the first game and continued their momentum in the second, leading 11-4 at the interval. The match concluded with a 12-match-point advantage for the Indians, converted in the second chance.

The semifinal awaits, promising another exciting chapter for the world number 2 Indian pair in their pursuit of success at the Malaysia Open.

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