The Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty marched into the final of the Korea Open 2023 badminton tournament after defeating China’s Liang Wie Keng/Wang Chang 21-15, 24-22 in the semifinals at the Jinnam Stadium, here on Saturday.
This was Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s first-ever win over the Chinese world No. 2 duo in three meetings. Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang got the better of the Indians at the All England Open and Malaysia Open, earlier this year.
Commonwealth Games gold medalist duo of Satwik and Chirag have already won the Swiss and Indonesia Open titles on the 2023 BWF World Tour.
In the Korea Open final, they will face the winners of the other semi-final clash between Indonesian top seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto and the Republic of Korea’s Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae on Sunday.
This will be the Indian duo’s third appearance in a BWF Super 500 tournament having won in the previous two such appearances at the 2019 Thailand Open and 2022 India Open. It is also their third final of the year.
After a neck-to-neck start to the match, Satwiksairaj and Chirag, the world No. 3 and third seeds, gained the upper hand in the first game after winning five back-to-back points to make the score 14-8 from 9-8. The Indian badminton players then rode the momentum to close out the opening game with ease.
In the second game, Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang, were trailing 14-9 at one stage, levelled the scores at 19-all but the Indians managed to raise their game at the vital juncture to finish off the contest in 40 minutes.
Notably, results at the Korea Open count towards players’ qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The qualification window for badminton started on May 1 this year.