India win historic Men’s Doubles title at BWF Thailand Open

By Saurabh Shankar

In a historic moment for Indian badminton, the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has pulled off a major upset as they beat the second ranked team of Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen to win the Men’s Doubles title at the 2019 Thailand Open.

The Indian duo managed to defeat the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallists 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 to win the 2019 BWF Thailand Open Men’s Doubles title, their first win as a pair.

After an impressive display in their Round of 16 encounter against World No. 7 Indonesian pair of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto, the Indians gave notices of their intent when they took on the South Korean pair of Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae in the quarterfinals.

Rankireddy and Shetty then came up tops in a closely contested semi-final clash.

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in action in Indonesia, 2018

Resilience needed in the final

Rankireddy and Shetty started off the final brilliantly, winning the first game 21-19, but the Chinese shuttlers pegged them back with a spectacular performance in the second game which saw them triumph 21-18.

However, the Indians showed great resilience as they fought through several long rallies and smashes to claim the third game 21-18 to create history by becoming the nation’s first Men’s Doubles Pair to win a BWF Super 500 title.