Men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s dream run at the French Open came to an end in the final on Sunday as they lost to top-seeded pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. The duo is the first Indian men’s doubles pair to reach a World Tour 750 final.
Rankireddy and Shetty had pulled off a couple of upset wins in the tournament to earn their place in the summit clash in Paris. Their win against the Japanese pair of Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe in Saturday’s semi-final unlocked a new achievement for Indian men’s doubles. However, a sublime match from Gideon and Sukamuljo ensured that the dream run would only go as far as the runner-up places. With their 21-18, 21-16 win in 33 minutes, the Indonesian pair made it 7-0 in their head-to-head record against Rankireddy and Shetty to 7-0.
On Sunday, the World No.11 pair impressed briefly but was outplayed by their opponents’ aggressive play. After trailing 8-11 at the break in the first game, Rankireddy and Shetty pulled things back to tie the score at 17-all. However, the Indonesian pair took control from there on and clinched the first game 21-18.
The Indians came out matching Gideon and Sukamuljo blow for blow in the second game and went into the break trailing by a sole point at 10-11. But a string of unforced errors from the Indians saw their opponents canter through to a 5-point lead at 18-13. The late attempts to force a decider proved too little too late and the duo had to head home with a second-place finish.