The cards seem to be finally aligning in the favour of India’s second-ranked men’s doubles duo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila as they notched a brilliant victory and entered the quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships for the very first time in their careers.
Taking out the Singaporean pair of Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean (brother to World Champion Loh Kean Yew) in the pre-quarters, Dhruv and Arjun put up a clinical display albeit after struggling a bit with their nerves to win the match, 18-21, 21-15, 21-16.
Coached by Denmark’s Mathias Boe from the sidelines, the duo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila were on-point throughout the tight match that had quite a few pressure points and could finally eke out such a big win.
“We had a different tactic from the last game (where they upset 2021 bronze medallists Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen) we played,” MR Arjun says in the BWF Mixed Zone, after the win.
“We were prepared for this. They (Hee and Loh) are pretty fast so we had to be extra-ready on the court. We were in many nervous situations in the match but we were lucky to get out of it,” he says with a sigh of relief.
With Mathias Boe coming in timely and reminding them they are just humans and its okay to be nervous and to ‘Relax and enjoy’ the game, Dhruv and Arjun did their best to keep their nerves about them, reducing their errors to a minimum and attacking well from all sides of the court, perplexing the Singaporean duo.
“The game plan was to keep the shuttle down because they were pretty fast enough to put the drive game on for us,” Dhruv Kapila explained.
But with two solid victories in their bag now, Dhruv and Arjun are high on confidence – as they also should be.
“We are looking to go all the way through here. I think this is our time when the matches are falling to our side as well,” MR Arjun, the quiet confidence leaking from his voice, says.
“We have had a lot of close matches with top pairs. Winning these matches are good confidence boosters,” he continued.
Next up on the challenge plate, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will have to take on the familiar pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan a.k.a The Daddies for a place in the semi-finals and of course, get a chance to confirm India’s first medal in men’s doubles at the World Championships too.
“We are ready to challenge Daddies. We have played them four times before and every time it has been intense, we are ready for them,” Arjun cheerfully says, before signing off.