The Singapore Open 2023 badminton tournament witnessed an unexpected exit of the prominent Indian men's doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, and Chirag Shetty, in the first round on Wednesday.
The Indian pair lost to their Japanese opponents, Akira Koga and Taichi Saito 18-21, 21-14, 18-21 in their opening match at the Singapore Open 2023 which lasted for over an hour. Satwik-Chirag came into this match with a 1-0 Head-to-Head advantage against the Japanese duo, who had coach Tan Kim Her in their corner. The match started with both pairs constantly changing leads. But just as Chirag-Satwik seemed like they are gaining control at 15-12, Koga-Saito pushed ahead with four straight points and held on to their lead. The second game saw the Asian Champions bounce back strongly. Satwik-Chirag closed it out 21-14, leading for the majority of the game.
The decider was another rollercoaster affair with the Japanese pair taking a 11-9 lead into the change of ends. The Indians once again appeared to turn things around post-interval. But some sensational defending by Koga and Saito saw them wrestle back control. With a little bit of help from the net cord, the Japanese pair held.
World No 5 Chirag and Satwik would have been keen to bounce back from a less than ideal outing at the Thailand Open last week. The Indian duo, however, have now suffered back-to-back early exits at the start of their Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification cycle. In Thailand, the Indians had also lost in three games against Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana. They are the former All-England champions from Indonesia who were eventual runners-up last week.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Priyanshu Rajawat produced yet another impressive performance against one of the top 15 players in the world. He defeated world No 15 Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan. Kidambi Srikanth also made it to the round of 16 at the Singapore Open 2023. However, India's top-ranked singles shuttlers PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy saw their campaigns end in the opening round in Singapore.