In quick time, the men’s doubles combination of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have broken into the World’s top-10 ranking.
The remarkable hard work of this young pair, coupled with the efforts put in by the overseas coaches has largely contributed to some excitement coming India’s way from men’s doubles.
With the Olympics not very far away, Chirag and Satwik is the only pair — with a career-high ranking of World No. 7 in November 2019 — to qualify from India.
Currently ranked No. 10, the pair has a 12-4 win-loss record this year — it reached the semifinals of the Thailand and Swiss Opens, but exited in the second round of All England.
Indeed, there have been a few takeaways for them from the limited competitive badminton this year. With the Badminton World Federation (BWF) curtailing the tournament schedule in view of the rising number of COVID cases, Chirag and Satwik are taking things as they come.
“We are very keen to do well in next month’s India Open. In the last couple of editions, we did not do as well as expected.”
They realise that their similar styles of play — both compulsive attackers — makes them predictable when pitted against some top-class opposition. “Yes. It is not possible to keep attacking all the time. We are aware we need a Plan-B and we are working towards it,” said Satwik.
Satwik said, “I feel the experience of the top-five pairs makes a huge difference. We made it to the top-10 just a couple of years ago whereas some of the top pairs have been around for much longer. “To beat a top-five pair, you have to play at your best. Again, that is not possible.
“I think, at present, their vast experience makes them better than us.”
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