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China Open: Satwik-Chirag Defeat World No.6 Pair Again to Reach Quarter-finals

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (Photo Credit: BAI)

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (Photo Credit: BAI)

China Open: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty kept the Indian flag flying as they reached the last eight with win over Japan's Endo-Watanabe.

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India's top men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty kept India alive at the China Open after a three-games victory over world No.6 Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe of Japan to reach the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Satwik-Chirag beat the Japanese pair 21-18, 21-23, 21-11 in an hour and five minutes in the Round of 16.

This is the second straight win for the Indian pair over Endo-Watanabe after Satwik-Chirag had defeated the pair from Japan in straight games at the French Open last month.

Satwik-Chirag have been on the rise this year and have been raking up wins consistently against the top men's doubles pairs in the world. They had reached the French Open final last month, where they lost to world No.1s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.

Satwik-Chirag have always been an attack-minded pair but this year they have developed their flat game immensely and have added a lot of variety to their play.

Both Chirag and Satwik have improved their all-court play with Chirag manning the net while Satwik smashing his way from the back court. Despite this strength for both, they are equally comfortable swapping responsibilities and that has what has led to their rise.

Satwik-Chirag are the only Indians in the China Open after the singles challenge ended earlier in the day with both Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth bowing out.

Kashyap lost to seventh seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 13-21, 19-21 while Praneeth was unable to take advantage of an off-colour Anders Antonsen and lost to the Dane 20-22, 22-20, 16-21.

Also on Thursday, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponappa also lost their mixed-doubles quarter-final clash against the South Korean pair of YuJung Chae and Seung Jae Seo 21-23, 16-21.

India's challenge in women's singles had already got over after PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal both lost their first round matches.

Sindhu lost to world No.42 Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei 13-21, 21-18, 19-21 while Saina lost to world No.22 Yan Yan Cai 9-21, 12-21 to bow out of the competition. HS Prannoy had also crashed out after losing 17-21, 18-21 to Denmark's Rasmus Gemke in his opening round contest.

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