One of the best contribution to Indian badminton history is the pair of Chirag and Satwik, who are the only men’s doubles pair from India to win BWF World Tour 1000. While Chirag belongs from a humble family of Mumbai, Satwik hails from Amalpuram, a small town of Andhra Pradesh. Satwik recently achieved a new Guinness World Record for the fastest hit in badminton history by a male player, with a smash of 565 km/h speed. While they have been paired with other players before, their camaraderie has proved to be the most compatible one.
The duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwik Rankireddy began their mixed doubles journey in 2016 at Mauritius International 2016 against Dhruv Kapila and Saurabh Sharma. Ever since there has been no looking back for them. That was the first tournament they won together. They have won several events together but one of the most prominent one was the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, under the coaching of Danish badminton player and 2012 London Olympics silver medalist Mathias Boe where they managed to win silver medal in Men’s doubles.
In 2019, star badminton players Chirag and Satwik created history by becoming the first Indian doubles pair to win a BWF Super Series in the BWF World Tour, the Thailand Open by defeating Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen from China. In between they won a couple of tournaments such as India International Series 2016, Vietnam International 2017, Brazil International 2019, and more. At the 2019 French Open, they were defeated by the Indonesian team of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon in the championship match.
Thereafter in 2020 the whole world came to a halt due to the pandemic, though the sports industry resumed their play in 2021. However, 2021 was not the year for the duo as they lost to the Indonesian team of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan in the second round, failing to successfully defend their men’s doubles open championship at the 2021 Thailand Open. Later in 2021, the pair was eliminated from the men’s doubles badminton competition in Summer Olympics 2020. Shetty and Rankireddy’s victory over Taiwan’s Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, the eventual men’s doubles gold medalists at the Tokyo Olympics, in the opening match of the multisport competition was their only solace.
2022 on the other hand proved to be a good start where they began the year by winning the India Open. Later the pair attained the first Thomas Cup win in India’s badminton history. Moving ahead, they won the gold medal in the badminton men’s doubles division at the 2022 Commonwealth Games by defeating the English team of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in Birmingham. Shetty and Rankireddy also competed for India on the mixed team badminton squad that took home the silver medal in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
At the BWF World Championships 2022 later that year, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won the bronze medal in the men’s doubles division defeating the Japanese team of Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi. It was India’s first-ever men’s doubles medal at the tournament. They put a perfect end to the year by defeating Chinese Taipei’s Lu Ching-yao and Yang Po-han in the French Open finals to win their first-ever BWF World Super 750 championship
Chirag and Satwik continued their zeal in 2023 by bagging home Swiss Open 2023. knocking out the Chinese team of Ren Xiangyu and Tan Qiang. After winning the 2023 Badminton Asia Championships in Dubai, the pair was also named Asian Champions. By defeating Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the 2023 Indonesia Open final, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won their first BWF World Super 1000 championship and made history by being the first men’s doubles team from India to win the competition. Soon after they achieved another significant milestone by winning their first BWF World Super 1000 title at Indonesia Open 2023.
Recently, they defeated the Indonesian men’s doubles team of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the Korea Open 2023 championship match with a score of 17-21, 21-13, and 21-14 and climbed up the ladder of second ranking in BWF Men’s Doubles Rankings.
The pair is all set for Japan Open 2023 commencing on 25th July 2023. We wish the pair best of luck for their future endeavors. In order to reach World Ranking 1, the pair needs to atleast reach the finals though in between if the Indonesia pair Alfian-Ardianto advances to the semifinal then Satwik and Chirag will not only need to defeat them in the round of 16 match, but they would also need to win the Japan Open in order to achieve the top spot.
Check out our exclusive interview with Chirag back from when they were rank 10 to witness their impeccable growth in such a short span of time.
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Featured Image: BWF