French Open: Satwik and Chirag finish men’s doubles runners-up after losing final to Sukamuljo-Fernaldi

India’s top-ranked men’s doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty finished runners-up at French Open after losing the final to World No. 1 pairing of Marcus Fernaldi and Kevin Sukamuljo.

Satwik and Chirag lost out on an opportunity to become only the 2nd Indian doubles pair after Partho Ganguli and Vikram Singh in 1983 to win the French Open as they were outclassed in a one-sided final by the top seeds from Indonesia in Paris on Sunday.

This was only Satwik and Chirag’s 3rd defeat in their 11th final on the tour. Notably, the Indian pair has lost all of its 7 meetings to Sukamuljo and Fernaldi.

Satwik and Chirag struggled to keep up with the pace of Sukamuljo and Fernaldi in the opening game as the top-ranked pair raced to a 9-4 lead. The Indian pair, ranked No. 11, clawed back but were still trailing at the mid-game break.

Satwik and Chirag were made to chase the game in the second half of the first game. Despite getting into some rhythm, they weren’t able to stop Sukamuljo and Fernaldi running away with the 1st game.

The Indonesian pair were unstoppable in the 2nd game as well as they wrapped up the gold medal match 21-18, 21-16 in just 35 minutes.

It was a fine run for Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty in Paris as they had beaten World No. 2 pairing of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan in Round 2 before outclassing higher-ranked pairs Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe and Kim Astrup-Anders Rasmussen.

Satwiksairaj and Chirag missed the World Championships due to injury concerns but the Indian pair has been highly impressive in the ongoing season. Apart from winning their 1st ever Super 500 tournament in Thailand, the duo has been reaching the business ends of major tournaments on a consistent basis.

Meanwhile, French Open saw Indian singles shuttlers continue their disappointing run. While PV Sindhu exited the Super 750 tournament in the quarter-final, Saina Nehwal was ousted as early as the 2nd round.

In the men’s singles category, Subhankar Dey was the only Indian to survive the 1st-round as the likes of Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and Parupalli Kashyap exited the tournament early.

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