Paris: Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy defeated former world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan in the men's doubles quarterfinals on Friday, safeguarding India's chances at the French Open 2022 BWF Super 750 badminton competition.
Tenth-seeded Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy put on a brilliant performance to defeat top-seeded Japanese players Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi - the 2021 men's doubles world champions - 23-21, 21-18 in 49 minutes.
In the semifinal matchup, Choi Sol Gyu and Kim Won Ho of South Korea will face the Indian badminton pair.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who earlier this month eliminated the Japanese pair from the world championships en route to winning the bronze medal, started out strong and quickly built a 20-16 lead. Still, Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi saved four game points to tie the score at 20 all.
However, the champion Indian team of the 2022 Commonwealth Games maintained composure to grab the crucial lead.
The second game was equally exciting. Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi, who are currently ranked as the top men's doubles team in the world of badminton, were leading 18-16, but the Indian team won five straight points to win the match.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have got the better of the Japanese pair on three occasions from the four matches they have played with them.
Earlier, Kidambi Srikanth lost the men's singles match in the second round of the French Open 2022 BWF Super 750 competition after blowing a lead against Rasmus Gemke of Denmark.
Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, who is currently ranked 11th in badminton, lost the match 21-19, 12-21, and 19-21 in one hour and fifteen minutes,
Sameer Verma could not duplicate his first-round heroics over Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and fell to Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-18, 21-11.
HS Prannoy, presently ranked first for the BWF World Tour Finals in 2022, was eliminated after falling to Lu Guang of China 19-21, 22-20, and 19-21. (ANI)