India’s men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s dream run at the French Open came to an end on Sunday as they lost their final against top-seeded pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in Paris.
Having pulled off a couple of upset wins in the tournament, Rankireddy and Shetty gave the Indonesian pair a tough challenge. But, a sublime match from Gideon and Sukamuljo saw them win 21-18, 21-16 in 33 minutes.
With the win, the Indonesian pair have improved their already impressive head-to-head record against Rankireddy and Shetty to 7-0. But the loss does not undermine the Indian pair’s achievement. On Saturday, they became the first Indian men’s doubles pair to reach a World Tour 750 final after beating Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe.
On Sunday, the world No 11 pair were impressive but could not match their opponent’s aggressive play. Gideon and Sukamuljo were leading 11-8 at the break in first game. However, Rankireddy and Shetty made a comeback to tie it at 17-17. However, it was not to be as Indonesian pair chipped away and won the first game 21-18.
Rankireddy and Shetty carried their momentum into the second game, matching Gideon and Sukamuljo. The score at the break in second game was 11-10 in favour of the Indonesians but the Indian pair looked good to take the game and force a decider.
However, both Shetty and Rankireddy made too many unforced errors and their opponents raced to a 18-13 lead. It was never enough from there despite their best efforts and had to contend with a second-place finish.