Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost their semi-final encounter at the Thailand Open against top-seeded Thai pair of Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Dechapol Puavaranukroh but not before putting up a strong fight.
The Indians lost 20-22, 21-18, 12-21 in 59 minutes and had the Thai pair worried for a large part of the match, especially in the second game.
Satwik-Ashwini managed to match the top mixed doubles pair right from the outset, only trailing 10-11 at the interval. However, Sapsiree and Dechapol lifted their game to pull away. But just when it seemed that the Thai pair would run away with the game, the Indians fought back hard.
Saving three game points, they tied the score at 20-20 but the Thai pair held their nerves to take the first game.
The close defeat in the first game seemed to have knocked the stuffing out of Satwik-Ashwini who conceded a five-point lead at the half-way mark in the second game but once again the Indians showed their powers of recovery to turn things around and take a 16-15 lead in the contest.
Despite the Thai pair’s attempts of putting the Indians under pressure, they maintained their newly-established superiority to take the second game 21-18 and force a decider.
Satwik-Ashwini were toe-to-toe with their illustrious opponents for much of the third game, trailing 10-11 at the interval but a burst from the top-seeded pair saw the Indians fall behind. It was an advantage that Sapsiree and Dechapol made the most of and clinched the contest with a 21-12 win the decider.
Despite the defeat, it was a commendable effort from Satwik-Ashwini who gave the top-ranked pair a run for their money.
Sapsiree-Dechapol will now play South Korean pair of Seung Jae Seo and Yujung Chae in the final.
Earlier in the day, Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik defeated India’s Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy 21-18, 21-18 in the men’s doubles semi-final of the Thailand Open in Bangkok on Saturday.