Star Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the second round with a straight-game win over Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren in the Korea Open Super 500 tournament in Yeosu on Tuesday. The world number 3 pair beat Jomkoh and Kedren 21-16 21-14 in the round of 32 to set up a clash with China’s He Ji Ting and Zhou Hao Dong in the next round.
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 while lagging 5-6 against eighth seeded Chinese Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi in their opening round.
“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. He had beaten Tan Jia Jie of Malaysia in his opening match.
Another Indian, 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.
Playing their first tournament since winning the Indonesia Open Super 1000 last month, Satwik and Chirag dished out a compact game as they opened up a 4-1 lead and kept moving ahead to grab a 11-6 lead at the interval.
The Indian duo didn’t give much chance to its opponent and from 18-15, took the remaining points to grab a 1-0 lead.
After the change of sides, the Thai players gave a good account of themselves as they managed to lead 9-4. However, Satwik and Chirag soon scripted a fightback to jump to 15-11 and held their fort as the Thai combination crumbled.
Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy will be among the Indian contenders this week.
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