India Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty they lost to China’s Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang in the men’s doubles semi-final Malaysia Open 2023 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
The Indian duo, who broke into the top five of the BWF rankings in December thanks to outstanding performances last year, fell to 17th of the Chinese pair 16-21, 21-11, 15-21 to drop out of the first BWF World Tour event of the season. It was also the first meeting between the two teams.
Both pairs got off to a good start. However, after the first match was tied 14-14, Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang broke away by two straight points and built up a lead by leading 1-0.
As in their quarter-finals, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the 2022 Commonwealth Games champions in men’s doubles, turned the tables on their opponents in game two with an offensive approach and brought the match to a tie.
While Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty easily won Game 2, Game 3 was initially evenly matched.
The Indian badminton players lost to Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang 11-9 on the last changeover, despite engaging in lengthy exchanges, including a 29-shot exchange to earn the third point.
However, the Chinese duo extended their two-point lead over the World Championship bronze medalists with quick turnarounds after the break to end India’s challenge in the BWF Super 1000 tournament.
The Indian pair defeated Chinese Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi despite losing 17-10 in their second match after losing their first match in the quarterfinals. In the round of 16, Rankireddy and Shetty defeated reigning All England Open champions Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana of Indonesia.
The team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty was India’s last remaining challenge at the Malaysia Open. Olympic medalists PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and other Indian aviators including Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth left early.
Indian badminton players will then be seen in action at the India Open BWF Super 750 event starting next week.