Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty enter last four

Bangkok: India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty qualified for the men's doubles semifinals but B Sai Praneeth crashed out of the men's singles event at the Thailand Open here on Friday.

While Rankireddy and Shetty registered a hard-fought win over qualifiers Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae of Korea, Sai Praneeth suffered a straight game defeat against seventh seed Kenta Tsuneyama of Japan.

After posing some challenge in the first game, Sai Praneeth, who reached the semifinals of last week's Japan Open, surrendered 18-21 12-21 in the men's singles quarterfinals.

With Sai Praneeth's exit, Indian challenge has ended in the men's singles event. However, the unseeded Indian combination of Rankireddy and Shetty fought valiantly for exactly an hour to get past the Korean rivals 21-17 17-21 21-19 in a quarterfinal duel.

The win was Rankireddy and Shetty's maiden victory over the Korean pair to enter the semifinal, their first in 2019 on the BWF World Tour circuit. They had earlier won the Brazil International Challenge and reached the semifinals of Denmark Challenge.

The 16th ranked Indians will take on another Korean combo of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol in the semifinals on Saturday. Rankireddy and Shetty kept a steady lead against their South Korean opponents to take the first game with ease.

Free Press Journal

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