India’s mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa stunned Indonesia’s world no 7 combination of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti in the opening round of the China Open badminton tournament in Changzhou on Tuesday.
Satwiksairaj then made it a sweeter day as he combined with Chirag Shetty to progress in the men’s doubles category as well. They defeated Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura 21-7, 21-18 in just 30 minutes. They won 14 of the last 17 points in the 2nd game to close the match out comfortably.
Earlier, world No 27 Satwik and Ashwini showed grit as they recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit the sixth-seeded Indonesian pair 22-20 17-21 21-17 in a 50-minute match to enter the second round of the USD 1,000,000 World Tour super 1000 tournament.
Jordan and Melati have so far reached five finals, including the 2018 India Open, but they wilted under the relentless pressure exerted by the Indian pair.
Ashwini and Satwik will now face the winner of the match between Japan’s Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo and Ireland’s brother-and-sister combo of Sam Magee and Chloe Magee at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium here.
The Indian pair had fallen back 4-7 early on but they reeled off five straight points to turn the tables and then held a slender 11-10 advantage at the break.
Jordon and Melati, however, build up a huge lead of 18-12 after the interval but the Indian duo slowly erased the deficit and caught up at 20-20 and then sealed the opening game.
In the second game, the Indonesian pair moved ahead from 4-4 to enter the mid-game break with at 11-8. Jordon and Melati continued to march ahead to eventually roar back into the contest.
In the decider, Satwik and Ashwini changed tactics and jumped to a 4-2 lead initially. The Indian duo kept things under control, and were 11-6 at the mid-game interval.
Jordon and Melati tried to make a comeback but the Indian pair kept their nose ahead to shut the doors on their fancied rivals.
Later in the day, Satwik and Chirag made short work of the Canadian pair on their return from injury after the Thailand Open triumph. The Indian duo had broken into the top 10 last month after its historic feat of becoming the first Indian men’s doubles pair to win a BWF Super 500 title at the Thailand Open.
However, both Chirag and Satwik ended up with injuries during the tournament and had to skip the prestigious World Championship in Basel, Switzerland.
While Chirag suffered an abdominal muscle injury, Satwik aggravated a right shoulder injury and the time away from the circuit affected their ranking as they slipped to World No 15.
Satwik and Ashwini face world No 28 Misaki Matsutomo and Yuki Kaneko while Satwik and Chirag have a tough task on their hands when they take on fourth seeds Keigo Sonoda and Takeshi Samura .