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Swiss Open: Satwik-Chirag advance to semifinals

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty progressed to the semifinals of the Swiss Open Super 300 after defeating Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede of Denmark in the quarterfinals on Friday. The Indian duo needed three games totalling 54 minutes to get past the Danish pair (15-21 21-11 21-14), thus setting up a semifinal clash against the third-seeded Malaysian pair of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi on Saturday.

The lone Indian representatives left at the Swiss Open, Satwik-Chirag had a slow start to the tie following their strenuous three-game, 81-minute win to reach the quarterfinals. The Indian pair never really got going, trailing right from the off with Bay-Molhede leading by as much as five points at the interval, with the score at 11-6 in their favour. It grew to 15-9 before SatChi clawed it back to 16-15, only for the Danes to rattle off five consecutive winners and take the first game 21-15.

That served to wake the Indian duo up, who were back to their best in the second game, leading 11-4 at the change of ends. They increased their lead to a 10-point margin and never let up, closing out the second game with ease to set up a decider.

The final game began on an even note, with both teams trading blows, but Satwik-Chirag’s quality saw them pull away to 11-7 at the interval. They opened up a seven-point lead thereafter, and it was only a matter of time for them to close out the game with a 21-14 victory in the decider.

The victory set up a tricky semifinal clash against the Ong-Teo pair of Malaysia, who have the advantage in their head-to-head, with Satwik-Chirag only defeating them twice in five attempts. The other semifinal has Xiang Yu Ren and Qiang Tan of China facing off against Satwik-Chirag’s familiar foes, Ben Lane and Sean Vendy of England.

Earlier Satwik-Chirag had begun the tournament with a comfortable 21-15 21-18 win over the Malaysian pair of Boon Xin Yuan and Wong Tien Ci in the first round. They proceeded to labour past Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee of Chinese Taipei (12-21 21-17 28-26), before their win over Bay-Molhede in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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