It is “irritating” to be unlucky all the time and perhaps they would need some “divine intervention” to win these crucial matches, a frustrated Satwiksairaj Rankireddy said after he and Chirag Shetty narrowly lost the men’s doubles semifinals of the World Championships here on Friday.
Satwik and his partner Shetty signed off with a historic bronze medal after going down 22-20 18-21 16-21 to Olympic bronze medallists Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia in the semifinals here.
The high-octane match saw some of the shots hit the net chords and points going against the Indians, who also had to dash out of the court more than once to change their racquets after the strings snapped midway during the rallies in crucial stages.
“It is unfortunate to always be unlucky all the time in crucial stages. There were too many string outs and lucky net chords in crucial times, which is really irritating,” Satwik said after the semi-final loss.
“At 17-15, Chirag’s racquet string was out, so it is always unlucky situations for us. Maybe we should do lot more puja and pray to God. It was a tough loss.” It was the sixth successive defeat against the world number 6 pair for Satwik and Chirag, who had lost to the same combination at the CWG mixed team final early this month.
“We are a bit disappointed. It was quite close and could have gone either way but I guess a few points here and there and luck was also not on our side. All credit to them, they played a solid game,” Chirag said.
On Saturday, Chirag looked a bit offcolour with his serve and defence, while the Malaysians proved to be a tad faster and more subtle in their stroke-play in a match that went down to the wire.
“It was good match. We played 95 per cent, maybe we could have put more pressure on them in the second game, maybe our attitude showed that we were relaxed and they got back their rhythm. We could have grabbed those situation,” Satwik said.
“It is always a fresh day when you play against them. They were also a bit nervous and when we started we felt it is our day today but we should have controlled things in the second.
“They are quite experienced in the first four strokes and we could have kept more calm, we are little bit nervous in first four, so kudos to them they controlled their nerves better. Hope they play good match tomorrow.” Despite the loss, it was a creditable show by Satwik and Chirag, who emerged as the first Indian pair to win a men’s doubles medal at the showpiece.
It also ensured that India continued to return with a medal from the World Championships since 2011, the year the country won its first doubles medal with the women’s pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa clinching a bronze.
“We are right up there. We wanted to get a medal and we are happy that we won a medal but we wanted to go further into the tournament but nevertheless there are chances as well in the future, so looking forward,” Chirag signed off.
Satwik and Chirag has been simply sensational this season as they won the India Open Super 500 in January, fashioned India’s monumental win in Thomas Cup and also clinched the country’s first men’s doubles gold at Commonwealth Games. PTI ATK KHS KHS