Rankireddy-Shetty through to final in Thailand Open
Bangkok, Aug 3 (IANS) India's top-ranked men's doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty qualified for the men's doubles final on Saturday with a 22-20, 22-24, 21-9 win over South Korea's Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol. They are the first Indian pair to reach the final of a Super 500 event.
The 16th ranked Rankireddy and Shetty came out on top against the 19th ranked Korean pair. This is the first final of the season for the Indian pair and they will now face Chinese third seeds Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen in the final on Sunday.
The Koreans held the advantage for much of the first game and were leading 11-10 at the interval. But the Indians shifted gears after that and surged to a 20-18 lead. Hyun and Cheol then picked up two consecutive points to level the score but Shetty and Rankireddy held their nerve to take two more points and win the game.
The second game turned out to be a thriller with the momentum swaying back and forth between the two set of players. The Koreans seemed to have the game in their hands when they raced to a 19-12 lead but the Indians fought their way back to make it 20-20. It was then a battle of attrition between the two sides and the Koreans finally prevailed 24-22.
However, the final game turned out to be an antithesis with Rakireddy and Shetty taking complete control of the game. They won it 21-9 and sealed a spot in the final.