Satwik/Shetty in Summit Clash at the French Open 2019

By: Editor
Date: 27 Oct, 2019
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton
Satwik Sairaj & Chirag Shetty held their nerves in a tense second game finale, to make to their first ever French Open Men’s Doubles finals. Playing against the experienced Japanese duo, Satwik/Chirag won 21-11 25-23 in a fabulous encounter.

Off the blocks in a flash and into a healthy lead in the opening game, Satwik/Chirag hardly looked like the guys yet to take a game off Endo/Watanabe. Asserting their dominance with some quick net play and powerful smashes, the duo raced over to take the opening game. 

The Japanese duo clearly changed tactics and game out with more of an aggressive intent in the second game and it paid early dividends as they lead 5-8 in the early exchanges. Satwik/Chirag then took six points off the bounce to take the lead at the halfway mark in the second game. A bit of a cat & mouse ensued from here as both teams took turns to take the lose before Satwik/Chirag had their first match point at 20-18.

Having saved four match points, Endo/Watanabe had a game point of their own saved, and it looked like the stalemate was going to continue. However, at 50 minutes, and off their 5th match point, Satwik/Chirag sealed the deal and will play Marcus Fernaldi/Kevin Sanjaya for the title on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, An Se Young continued her impressive run at the championships wby taking down Akane Yamaguchi in the first of the women’s semifinals. While, Carolina Marin will have an excellent chance to add yet another title to her collection, after she overcame Tai Tzu Ying in the second semifinal 21-16 21-9.

In the men’s semifinals, Indonesian Anthony Sinsuka Ginting lost to defending champion Chen Long 19-21 18-21. In both the games, Anthony Ginting seemed to have a problem at the business end. Both times he had a healthy lead and let it blew to lose the match in straight games. Chen Long will face another Indonesian in the finals – Jonatan Christie, who defeated a wounded Viktor Axelsen 7-21 22-20 21-19.

It was a comeback for the ages, as Christie lost the opening game without even a contest. Axelsen at one point took 11 straight points off the Indonesian. And somehow, Christie found the resolve in the second game to keep it tight and fight for every point to force a decider. 

In the decider, Axelsen did begin well and was cruising along nicely at 6-11, and it only seemed a matter of time when he stretched his lead to 19-10, and then came the pivotal moment of the clash. Jonatan Christie simply turned on another gear reeling point-after-point-after-point to leave the shell-shocked Parisian crowd gasping for breath. Axelsen had a niggle with his groin that clearly restricted his movements but then no one really expects him to lose 11 straight points.

Lasting an hour and 21 minutes, the match was a scrap, a fight but above all one to savor. Jonatan Christie had almost done the impossible.

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