Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s Kumamoto Masters 2023 Campaign Cut Short

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Asian Games champions Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy suffered a first-round exit in the Kumamoto Masters Japan 2023 men’s doubles badminton event on Tuesday.

Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, fifth in the badminton rankings, lost to Chinese Taipei’s world No. 21 pair of Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han 21-16, 18-21, 16-21 in 63 minutes in the round of 32.

The Indian badminton players got off to a slow start and trailed 0-3 after early exchanges. Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy made it 3-3 and led by four points at the interval.

Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han cut the deficit to one point 17-16 but the Indian duo pocketed the first game with four successive points.

The second game proved to be a neck-to-neck affair. However, the Chinese Taipei duo opened up a three-point lead at 9-6 and survived a fightback from Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy to take the game by three points.

Both pairs engaged in longer rallies in the deciding game. The scores were level at 10-10 but Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han pulled off a few body smashes on Chirag Shetty and some unforced errors from the Indians helped the Chinese Taipei pair take the match with ease.

The two teams had also met in the French Open final last year which Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won in straight games.

HS Prannoy, India’s only men’s single player inside the top 10, Lakshya Sen and Priyanshu Rajawat will be in action on Wednesday.

Prannoy, seeded seventh, will be up against Lee Cheuk Yui of Hong Kong China in the opening round. Lakshya Sen will take on third seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan while Priyanshu Rajawat will face Lin Chun-Yi of Chinese Taipei.

Featured Image: Outlook India

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