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Homechevron_rightSportschevron_rightChina Masters final:...

China Masters final: Indian duo loses to Chinese pair

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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty
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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty displayed unwavering determination but fell short against the world's number one men's doubles pair, Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang, in a thrilling final at the China Masters Super 750 tournament in Shenzhen, China.

The Indian shuttlers, champions at the Asian Games, faced a gruelling battle, eventually losing 19-21, 21-18, 19-21 after an intense one-hour, 11-minute clash — a rare defeat for the Indian duo in six finals this season.

The contest witnessed a compelling see-saw as the Indian pair, trailing 1-8 in the decider, showcased resilience, saving six championship points from 13-20 to 19-20. However, Liang and Wang, maintaining composure, secured the title for China, ending an eight-year wait for the country's victory in the men's doubles category at the China Masters.

This win for Liang and Wang also served as redemption for their loss to the Indian duo at the Asian Games.

The match showcased a fluctuating rhythm where the Indian shuttlers couldn't sustain their best performance, especially in defence, against Liang and Wang's relentless pressure. Wang's strategic play in the front court proved pivotal in crucial moments of the game.

Unlike a smash-heavy showdown witnessed in the semifinals, this final emphasised the versatility of skills, focusing more on strategic placements, angles, and pace variations to outmanoeuvre each other.

While the Chinese pair maintained a favourable head-to-head record against their Indian counterparts, Satwik and Chirag had previously secured victories in straight games during recent encounters.

The Indian duo faced initial struggles, lagging behind at 1-4, eventually forcing them into a catch-up mode throughout the game. Despite levelling the score multiple times at 9-9, 15-15, and 19-19, Liang's powerful smash secured the opening game for China.

Regrouping in the second game, Satwik and Chirag surged, winning 21-18. However, a series of unforced errors allowed Liang and Wang to dominate the decider, taking an early lead of 1-8, ultimately leading to an 11-6 advantage at the final break.

Although the Indian duo displayed resilience, saving multiple match points, the Chinese pair clinched victory in a nail-biting finale, triumphing 21-19 in the deciding game.

Satwik and Chirag's stellar year included victories at the Badminton Asian Championships, Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500, Swiss Super 300, and an Asian Games gold medal.

The BWF World Tour comprises various levels of tournaments, each offering diverse ranking points and prize money, with the Super 1000 level presenting the highest points and prize pool.

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TAGS:Satwiksairaj RankireddyChirag ShettyChina Masters
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