Maverick Pair Satwik-Chirag pair advance into second round of Korea Open 2023

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(PTI) The world number 3 Men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren to enter the second round of the Korea Open Super 500 tournament here on Tuesday.

The swashbuckling pair beat Jomkoh and Kedren 21-16 21-14 in the round of 32 and setup a clash with China’s He Ji Ting and Zhou Hao Dong in the next round.

The pair was playing their first tournament since winning the Indonesia Open Super 1000 last month. Satwik and Chirag played a really close game as they opened up a 4-1 lead and kept moving ahead to grab a 11-6 lead by the interval. The Indian pair didn’t give much chance to the opponents and from 18-15, took the remaining points to grab a 1-0 lead.

The Thai players made a good comeback to take the lead to 9-4. However, Satwik and Chirag soon fought back to jump to 15-11 and held their fort.

World number 27 MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, however, couldn’t complete the match after the former suffered from a back issue and retired midway in the opening game.

“I felt a pain in my back during the rallies. I applied spray for pain relief but I wasn’t feeling comfortable, so we decided to pull out. The physio said it looks like a back spasm and shouldn’t be fine within a few days. I will be travelling to Japan. So lets see. Hopefully I will be okay,” Arjun told PTI.

India’s Harshit Aggarwal also couldn’t reach the main draw after losing to Korea’s Choi Pyeong Gang 15-21 21-10 10-21 in his second qualification match after defeating Tan Jia Jie of Malaysia in his opening match.

Another Indian shutller, Shashwat Dalal also went down in his first round, losing 14-21 17-21 to Jeong Min Seon of Korea, while Meiraba Maisnam withdrew from the qualifiers.

(PTI inputs)

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