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Satwik-Chirag destroys Chinese pair, moves to semis; Ashwini-Tanisha exits

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made light work of China’s He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu to reach the semifinal of the Malaysia Open Super 1000 in Kuala Lumpur.

Satwik-Chirag won the match 21-11, 21-8 in 35 minutes.

In the opening game, the second-seeded Indian pair claimed a massive 13-6 lead despite defending against the agile Chinese shuttlers. Satwik and Chirag drew benefits from He and Ren’s mistakes as they rushed for points.

While Chirag moved to the front court, Satwik sent a high lift from the rear court to create a space for himself before finishing the game with a deft whip from the net, leaving the Chinese duo on the same side.

They would soon win the opening game, allowing just five more points to He and Ren. Their onslaught and ability to vary pace worked wonders. Satwik, looking sharp throughout the game, battered the Chinse combo from the onset of the game, hitting the shuttle fast and hard.

Satwik-Chirag retained the momentum in the second game and cruised to claim a 13-4 lead, flummoxing the Chinese pair with a faster game.

They would eventually win the game and move to the semifinal as He and Ren sent the shuttle wide.

However, it was a curtain for the Indian women’s doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto. The world no. 24 pair suffered a straight-game (21-15, 21-13) defeat to Japanese Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi in the quarterfinals.

Ashwini and Tanisha, who played their first quarterfinal at a Super 1000 event after pairing up in January 2023, were punished for their poor execution and losing plot against the Japanese pairings.

The Japanese pair also used the drift to disturb Tanisha’s movement at the front court. At one point, Tanisha failed to cover the backcourt when Ashwini rushed to the frontcourt.

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