Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost to Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the semifinals at the 2022 BWF World Championships in Tokyo on Saturday, ending a memorable run which saw them win India’s first-ever men’s doubles medal at the prestigious event.
Having won the gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games earlier this month, Satwik-Chirag put on a solid run at the Worlds too and beat defending champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in a thrilling quarterfinal.
In the semifinal, though, the seventh-seeded pair from India went down after taking the opener. The Malaysians showed great composure to fight back and extend their head-to-head lead against Satwik-Chirag to 6-0, after picking up the 20-22, 21-18, 21-16 win.
Here are excerpts from Chirag and Satwik’s media interaction after their semifinal loss (via BWF Mixed Zone / media team):
Satwik: It was a good badminton match. We played close to our 100 percent. Maybe we could have pushed in the second game itself after we won the first set, maybe we could have put more pressure on them. Maybe our body language and attitude showed we were a bit relaxed and that gave them the rhythm. But they were still under pressure and we could have grabbed those situations.
So it’s unfortunate for us to be unlucky all the time in the crucial stage. Our strings kept going out repeatedly and we even kept getting the net cord in crucial times so it did irritate us. Against them (Chia-Soh) and even against Kevin (Indonesia’s Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon), always feel we get unlucky at crucial times... so maybe we should pray a lot more (laughs). But yes, it was a tough loss, but a good week for us.
Chirag: Obviously, we are a bit disappointed. Like Satwik said, it was quite close and could have gone either way. A few points here and there and luck also wasn’t on our side today. But credit to them, they played a solid game and all the best to them for tomorrow.
Satwik: It’s always a fresh day when you play in big tournaments like the World Championships. When we started, we thought it’s our game today. We controlled ourselves in the first game and maybe could’ve done that in the second game as well. They are quite experienced in those first four strokes. We could’ve kept more calm, I feel we were a little bit lazy and nervous in those first four strokes. But yes, kudos to them. They played really well and controlled their nerves. Hopefully, they’ll play a good match tomorrow.
Chirag: I think we are right up there. We surely wanted to get a medal and I’m happy that we could do it. Obviously, we wanted to go further in the tournament but nevertheless, there will be more chances in the future and we’re looking forward to them.
I feel we could’ve been a bit more calmer. Of course, you can say a lot of things – we could’ve done this and that, but getting that balance is obviously what every top player wants. Sometimes, when you are extremely calm you can get complacent as well, so you need to find a balance.
Satwik: It was a good game, I feel we can beat them the next time. Maybe our defence was a little down compared to the other tournaments... we made a lot of errors and mistakes, but we’ll cut them down and it’s a good learning for us. We can see the progress, we are not going down so that’s a good sign for us. Body-wise, we are feeling good and are on the right track. So looking forward.