The Indian doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty overcame a mid-match slump to enter the men's doubles final of the Swiss Open Super Series 300 on Saturday.
The world number six and second-seeded Indian pair defeated third seeds Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi of Malaysia 21-19 17-21 21-17 in an enthralling semifinal that lasted an hour and nine minutes.
Satwik and Chirag, the 2022 World Championships bronze medalists, will play the unseeded Chinese pair of Ren Xiang Yu and Tan Qiang in the summit clash on Sunday.
Satwik and Chirag are the only Indian contenders left in a tournament where the likes of PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen suffered early defeats.
Here in the semifinal, against opponents who had a 3-2 head-to-head lead against them before this match, Satwik and Chirag started positively, but were pegged back by the Malaysians midway through the opening game. However, they pulled off a string off four points from 17-19 down to win the opening game 21-19.
The Malaysians, though, weren't going to go down with a fight. They took the lead early on in the second game, and even though they didn't really pull away completely from the Indians, they managed to stay in front, before closing the game out 21-17. The third game was almost a mirror image of the second, as Satwik and Chirag asserted themselves early on, and then didn't let the lead slip.
Much like the quarterfinals, where they prevailed in three games against the Danish pair of Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede, Satwik and Chirag got their act together in the clutch moments of the final game, and ensured that they crossed the finish line.
After a disappointing All England Championships earlier this month, this is a much-needed return to form for Satwik and Chirag, who hadn't played as a pair for a couple of months, due to injury to Satwik. Against the Chinese in the final, they will start as favourites, as they look to add another title to their kitty.
With PTI Inputs