SHENZHEN: Star Indian shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty fought valiantly before going down to the Chinese duo of Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang in an exciting men’s doubles final of the China Masters Super 750 tournament in Shenzhen on Sunday.
Satwik and Chirag, the Asian Games champions, lost 19-21 21-18 19-21 to the world no. 1 Chinese pair after a one-hour, 11-minute battle, their first defeat in six finals this season.
The Indian pair gave ample display of their grit as they saved six championship points from 13-20 to 19-20 after recovering from 1-8 down in the decider, but Liang and Wang found their bearing just in time to win the first men’s doubles China Masters title for the hosts in eight years.
In a finale of fluctuating fortunes, the Indian shuttlers couldn’t produce their best as their defence, particularly Satwik’s, wilted under the pressure of Liang and Wang, who looked in the zone.
Wang rose to the occasion and stood tall in the key moments, winning the battle of the front court play with Chirag.
It was not a smash-feast like the semifinals but was an exhibition of versatility of skills as the two pairs focused more on placement and angles, varying the pace to outmanoeuvre the other.
The Chinese pair of Liang and Wang led the head-to-head record against their opponents going into this final though the Indian duo won their most recent meetings in straight games. Agencies
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