A month after ending India’s 52-year wait for a men’s doubles gold medal at the Badminton Asia Championships, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, ranked fourth in the world, defeated second-seeded Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh of Malaysia in the 2023 Indonesia Open final to win their first-ever Super 1000 title. The duo has a history of breaking numerous records for Indian badminton, and on Sunday they defeated the world champions in just 43 minutes to become the first Indians to win a Super 1000 championship.
With the addition of the Indonesia Title, their impressive collection of victories now includes a gold medal from the Commonwealth Games, a Thomas Cup victory, a bronze medal from the World Championships, and victories in the Super 300 (Syed Modi), Super 500 (Thailand and India Open), and Super 750 (French Open).
The match had gotten off to a slow start for Satwik and Chirag, as the world champions increased their lead from 3-0 to 7-3 before the latter rallied to tie it at 7-7. However, the Malaysians led by two points at the half of the first game. The first game ended with the Asian champions leading 21-17 after recovering once more to take the lead for the first time in the competition.
“In the earlier eight matches against them, we would hold ourselves back, but today we stuck to the plan. We felt they are humans, they are players, and they will also make mistakes. We stuck to the plan right till the end and never really gave them a chance to come back.”
“Even in the second game when they took a couple of points, we were like we don’t have to hold ourselves back and play safe that would have made the game a little slow and they are good at capitalising on. Am really happy and we really needed this win,” commented Chirag Shetty.
The dominance persisted in the second game, where they jumped out to an early 11-7 lead before holding a six-point lead and standing on match point. The Indian pair, who were supposed to be named the new world no. 3 on Monday, faltered in the dying stages and gave up four straight points before sealing a historic victory.
“For the past few tournaments, I don’t feel like dancing because I felt more hunger. We have won this tournament, and next week we have another. We go back and reset. But I am still happy with the way we played. It felt like a new day, playing new opponents. We were down 8-0 in head-to-head, but I wasn’t thinking much about it. I thought to myself this was a final and both teams were under pressure and if we play good we will win. We were under control when we got a strike in the first game. I said to myself it’s our day don’t panic and just playing like any other final,” Rankireddy said.
Additionally, they had won 14 of the previous 17 BWF finals, for a startling 82.35 winning %. The fact that it was their first triumph against the Malaysian pair in nine tries, though, is what makes the result particularly noteworthy.
Six levels make up the BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour: World Tour Finals, four Super 1000s, six Super 750s, seven Super 500s, and eleven Super 300s. The BWF Tour Super 100 level is another tournament level that awards ranking points. These competitions each provide various prize money and ranking points. The Super 1000 level offers both the most points and the largest reward pool.