India’s challenge at the 2023 China Open Super 1000 came to an end on Wednesday after the pairs of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, and N Sikki Reddy and Rohan Kapoor lost in their respective events.
On Tuesday, HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Priyanshu Rajawat, the women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, and the men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila lost in the first round of their respective events.
Men’s doubles second seeds Rankireddy and Shetty were the highest-ranked players in the draw after top seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Ardianto lost in the first round on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, they faced the Indonesian pair of Muhammad Fikri and Bagas Maulana. After a close start to the first game, the Indonesian pair broke away after the interval taking a four point lead. The pair held on to the lead to clinch the first game 21-17.
The second game was a one-sided affair as the Indians blew their opponents away 21-11 to force the decider.
The Indians were slow off their mark in the third game with Fikri and Maulana showcasing superb defence to win crucial rallies. Rankireddy and Shetty tried to halt the momentum of their opponents by taking extra time to get ready between points but the Indonesians were unperturbed.
At 16-14, Fikri and Maulana stitched together four points on the run to bring up six match points. Although the Indian pair managed to save three, Fikri and Maulana held on to notch a memorable win and book their place in the second round.
In the mixed doubles draw, Sikki Reddy and Rohan Kapoor lost 21-15, 21-16 to Malaysia’s Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei.