Alwin Francis and Nandagopal Kidambi handed a 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9 loss to another Indian pair of Saurabh Sharma and Kona Tarun to win the men’s doubles final at the Iran International Challenge on Thursday. This is the pair's first title after pairing up with each other last year.
A major knee injury and surgery forced Francis to stay away from the badminton court and he regained his confidence with a new partner, Nandagopal, the elder brother of Kidambi Srikanth. In an all-Indian final in the men’s doubles, Francis and Nandagopal paired up with each other to register their first title.
The duo managed to reach the final of the India International Series in November but faced a loss against Arun George and Sanyam Shukla in straight games. The pair also participated in the India Open earlier this month where they had to exit from the second round after suffering a loss to fourth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.
Earlier, Francis used to play with Tarun and Nandagopal’s previous partner was Rohan Kapoor. Nandagopal, along with Mahima Aggarwal, had also won the mixed doubles title in that tournament. Francis had won two titles with Tarun last year which was in Uganda and Peru.