Satwik-Ashwini open India’s account with a win at China Open

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Ashwini Ponnappa, China Open, Super 1000 World Tour, Praveen Jordan, Melati Daeve Oktavianti
World no. 26 Indian shuttlers recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit the sixth-seeded pair 22-20, 17-21, 21-17 in a 50-minute match. Photo: @BAI_Media/Twitter

India started its $1,000,000 campaign with a win as mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankiredddy and Ashwini Ponnappa shock world no. 7 combination Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeve Oktavianti of Indonesia in the opening round of China Open in Changzhou (China) on Tuesday (September 17).

World no. 26 Indian shuttlers recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit the sixth-seeded pair 22-20, 17-21, 21-17 in a 50-minute match to enter the second round of the last Super 1000 World Tour tournament.

The Indonesian Pair have so far reached five finals, including the 2018 India Open, but they wilted under the relentless pressure created by the Indian pair.

Ashwini and Satwik will now face the winner of the match between Japan’s Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo and Ireland’s brother-and-sister combo of Sam Magee and Chloe Magee at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium here.

Also read: World Champion Sindhu and other shuttlers eye $1,000,000 China Open

The Indian pair had fallen back 4-7 early on but they reeled off five straight points to turn the tables and then held a slender 11-10 advantage at the break.

Jordon and Melati, however, build up a huge lead of 18-12 after the interval but the Indian duo slowly erased the deficit and caught up at 20-20 and then sealed the opening game.

In the second game, the Indonesian pair moved ahead from 4-4 to enter the breather with a 11-8 cushion. Jordon and Melati continued to march ahead to eventually roar back into the contest.

In the decider, Satwik and Ashwin changed their tactics and jumped to a 4-2 lead initially. The Indian duo kept things under control, entering the break with a 11-6 lead.

Jordon and Melati tried to make a comeback but the Indian pair kept their nose ahead to shut the doors on their fancied rivals.

(With inputs from Agencies)