HYDERABAD: Indian challenge came to an end after the two doubles teams lost their semifinal matches in the Thailand Open BWF Super-1000 tournament in Bangkok on Saturday.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa fought hard before losing to top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand 20-22, 21-18, 12-21 in the mixed doubles semifinals.
The Indians gave a good account of themselves as they stretched the top doubles team. The Thai pair is in great form as they won the Super-1000 tournament last week. The Indians, however, worked hard in the first two games before losing steam in the third.
Earlier, Satwik and Chirag Shetty suffered a straight-game loss against Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia 18-21, 18-21 in the men’s doubles semifinals.
The unseeded Indians faltered against the eighth seeded Malaysians. In the first game, Satwik and Chirag closely followed their rivals until 15-16. Thereafter the Malaysians widened the gap with a three-point burst to moved 19-15. Though the Indians tried their best they could not prevail over Chia and Soh.
In the second game, the Indians were in the contest only till 10-11. With a couple of serves the Malaysian moved to 17-11. However, from 14-20, the Indians saved four game points, but the lead was too big for them to close.
Chirag admitted that they were not at their best. “We are happy to play in the semifinals, but we didn’t play our best today. We couldn’t score points on our service, but we were receiving well. I think if we’d been able to take a few points and converted the first game, the scenario would have been a lot different,” Chirag Shetty said.
Satwik said that they didn’t control the shuttle properly. “We didn’t control the shuttle. We tried to pick things up in the second game. They are more experienced players. They made the All England finals in 2019. We fought for each point and maybe we could have been calmer. We’re disappointed but happy to play in the semifinals,” Satwik said.