Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty advanced to the second round of Swiss Open 2021 on Wednesday with a tricky three-game win over Scottish pair Christopher Grimle-Matthew Grimle. The second seeds won 21-18, 19-21, 21-16 in an hour and nine minutes. Along with Satwik-Chirag, Sourabh Verma also advanced to the second round while HS Prannoy was knocked out.
Satwik-Chirag will next face the Indonesian pair of Pramudya Kasumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan, who registered a 15-21, 21-14, 21-17 win over Jason Anthony Ho-Shue-Nyl Yakura of Canada.
The first game began neck-and-neck with both the pairs testing each other. At 11, Satwik-Chirag went on a rampage and took a massive 17-11 lead. The Indian pair mixed up their shots extremely well and showed solid defence. Their gameplay was more about placement than power. At 18-14, a huge rally was played out between the two pairs where Satwik-Chirag showed great defensive skills and played their opponents around very well to win the point.
Leading 19-15, Chirag played a powerful flat stroke to draw an error and get five game points. A couple of errors from Satwik’s racquet meant the Grimle brothers save three game points. However, Chirag’s net shot then took the top of the table and trickled over to give the first game to the Indian pair.
Satwik-Chirag started the second game dominatingly with a 3-0 lead but then their opponents managed to read them very well. The Indian pair was also guilty of making a few too many errors and kept chasing throughout the game. Down 16-20, Satwik-Chirag saved three game points but then Satwik’s low serve was read very well and the Scottish pair took the second game.
The Indian pair showed the same guile and domination early in the decider to lead 11-6 at the break. This time the change of ends did not prove to be ominous for Satwik-Chirag as they remained in lead at 15-10.
Sourabh Verma also advanced to the second round of the tournament as he defeated Swiss Christian Kirchmayr 21-19, 21-18 in 43 minutes. He will be up against eighth seed and junior world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand.
Earlier, HS Prannoy bowed out of the tournament after losing his first round match to Netherlands’ Mark Caljouw 19-21, 21-9, 17-21 in an hour and two minutes. He joined Sameer Verma and the mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy in the list of the Indians eliminated.
Sameer, earlier in the day, lost to compatriot Kidambi Srikanth as the latter got a comeback 18-21, 21-18, 21-11 win in an hour and a minute to advance to the pre-quarter-finals.
On Tuesday, Ashwini Ponnappa-Satwik pulled off a huge upset against Indonesian second seeds Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja as they registered a 38-minute 21-18, 21-10 to advance to the second round of the tournament.
Later in the day, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Ajay Jayaram, Lakshya Sen, Parupalli Kashyap, Sai Praneeth, women’s doubles pair Ashwini-Sikki and men’s doubles pair MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila will be in action.