Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty dominated the semi-finals to go to the finals of the China Master 750 competition on Saturday, November 25. In Shenzen, the Indian top-seeded duo defeated China’s He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu in straight games to go to the competition’s final.
Sat-Chi appeared to have an easy win after dominating the opening game throughout to win 21-15, but the Chinese pair, ranked 50 in the world, came back with some spectacular strokes and kept the India combination at bay.
In the opening game of the match, Satwik-Chirag led from the off and displayed their greatest attacking play. They lead 11–6 at the half and continued to play well all the way through the first game. Sat-Chi handed up points because of their own errors when they struck the net close to home.
In the second match, the Chinese players maintained a consistent lead. Due to their overly aggressive strategy, Sat-Chi was down 8–11 at the half of the second game. During the interval, Coach Pullela Gopichand spoke with the two and instructed them to take their time returning to the net. Sat-Chi were able to proceed from 14–14 since the move was successful.
Against the smash-happy Indian duo, the Chinese players kept their best for last and displayed excellent defensive resilience. They managed to continue the game, but at 22-20 they finally gave up. The game went for fifty minutes.
With the victory, Sat-Chi advanced to their sixth final of the year and will aim to win on Sunday, November 26.
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