Satwik excited to play against his favorite team in Thailand

HYDERABAD: Teen shuttler Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty broke into the semifinals of the Thailand Open BWF Super-500 Tournament in Bangkok on Friday. The youngsters are the lone Indian shuttlers left in the tournament as Sai Praneeth & mixed doubles duo of Satwik & Ashwini Ponnappa lost in the quarterfinals.

Sai could not repeat the performance of his week since his Japanese opponent Kanta Tsuneyama took revenge in consecutive games 21-18, 21-12.

In mixed doubles, Japanese couple of Yuta Watanabe & Arisa Higashino proved too good for the Indians. The third seeds won 21-13, 21-15.

Earlier, Satwik-Chirag registered a hard fought victory against Solgyu Choi & Seung Jae Seo of Korea in the men's doubles quarterfinals 21-17, 17-21, 21-19. The Indian boys recovered after slumping in the second game. It was a see-saw battle in the decider as lead changed hands several times. The Koreans were leading 19-18 before the Indians kept their cool & won three consecutive points to reach the semifinals. Last year the duo were knocked out in the very first round.

Satwik told ToI that staying positive throughout the tie helped them to win. "Well we are happy with our win...we played really well in this tournament. We were so calm & focused till the last point. We were so positive & that helped us really well," Satwik said.

On Saturday, the Indians will face South Korea's Sung Hyun Ko & Baek Cheol Shin at the last four stage. Satwik is excited to face his favourite doubles team for the first time in his career. "We are very excited for tomorrow especially because I love their game. I used to watch their videos when I started playing doubles. We will play with the same strategy, stay calm & be positive," Satwik said. From the top half of the draw Chinese pair of Jun Hui Li & Yu Chen Liu square up against Hiroyuki Endo & Yuta Watanabe of Japan.