Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty became the first Indian men’s doubles pair to enter the final of the Badminton Asia Championships after their opponents retired midway through the semi-final match, on Saturday.
After winning the first game 21-18, Satwik and Chirag were trailing 13-14 in the second when the Chinese Taipei duo of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin retired, handing the match to the Indians.
They face the eighth-seeded Malaysian pair of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, who defeated fourth seeds Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan 21-6 26-24 in the other semifinal, in the final on Sunday.
Satwik said it was “unfortunate” that the match ended that way with their opponents conceding it.
“Nevertheless, we won the first game; we played well compared to the last two-three matches. We were there. We were not giving them the chances,” Satwik said.
“Our strategy was on point. Happy to play finals infront of huge crowd like we are playing in India.”
On their final opponents on Sunday, Chirag said, “It’s always a close against the Malaysians. They are defenders and we are attackers. It’s going to a good game.”
Satwik and Chirag had earlier made it to a historic semifinals after outplaying Indonesia’s experienced duo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-11 21-12 in the quarterfinals on Friday. This will be India’s first men’s doubles medal at the continental event after 52 years.
PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy had lost in the quarterfinals in the women’s and men’s singles respectively.