New Delhi: India's top men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty followed up their upset against the world champions on Thursday with a solid performance in the last eight to reach the semi-finals of French Open on Friday.
Satwik-Chirag registered a dominating 21-13, 22-20 win over the Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in 39 minutes as they continue to climb up the ladder on the world stage.
Satwik-Chirag will next take on the winner of the men's doubles clash between third seed Li Jun Hui-Liu Yu Chen of China and Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe of Japan. The Indian pair defeated the Chinese pair earlier this year in the final of Thailand Open.
Earlier in the day, Saina Nehwal crashed out after a 20-22, 21-23 loss to 17-year-old South Korean star An Se Young. PV Sindhu is yet to take on Taiwanese superstar Tai Tzu Ying.
Satwik and Chirag put up an extremely intelligent display that was a mix of deft touch and smart powerplay. The improvement that Satwik and Chirag have brought in their flat game is starting to pay dividents now.
Satwik-Chirag got off to a solid start, racing to a 5-2 lead and despite an attempt of a fightback from the Danes, they went into the break with an 11-6 lead.
With the two Indians' attacking game firing, they completely ruled out any sort of comeback from the Danish pair. Both Satwik and Chirag showed great ability at the net and from the back of the court as they mixed powerful smashes with great interceptions at the net to sneak away.
Without much trouble, they took the first game 21-13.
The second game started with the Danes trying to take an upperhand as they took a 9-6 lead. However, Satwik-Chirag brought out their smart net play and smashing power to the fore once more to win three straight points to make it 9-9. From there, they took a slender 11-10 lead to the break.
They were at their best after the break as they got a 16-12 lead but service errors and some counter attacking display from the Danes meant they levelled it at 16-16.
From there, the two took alternate points before the Danes brought up a game point. However, Chirag put in another smash to force the Danish pair to put the shuttle wide to make it 20-20.
At 20-20, Chirag executed a brilliant flick serve to catch Astrup off guard and then Rasmussen hit the shuttle into the net as the Indians took the match.