Returning from an injury lay-off, India's leading doubles pairing of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are hoping for a consistent run to seal a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Earlier, the pair had to skip the prestigious World Championship in Basel, Switzerland due to injury.
India's leading doubles pairing of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are eyeing a consistent run to break into the top 5 and seal a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after returning from injury.
The Indian duo had broken into the top 10 last month after its historic feat of becoming the first Indian men's doubles pair to win a BWF Super 500 title at Thailand the Open.
However, both Chirag and Satwik ended up with injuries during the tournament. While Chirag suffered an abdominal muscle injury, Satwik aggravated a right shoulder injury and had to skip the prestigious World Championship in Basel, Switzerland, which in turn affected their ranking as they slipped to World No 15.
Having undergone a rigorous training schedule, the duo is now back to full fitness and is looking to go all out at the USD 1,000,000 China Open starting on Tuesday. "We are completely fit now. We will go full throttle and hope to do well in China and Korea. We had lost in the first round at China last year, so we will look to go deep into the draw. It is a Super 1000 event, so it will help our ranking," Chirag told PTI.
"We need to be consistent. We will look to end the year in top 10 and then from January to April next year, if we can play a couple of quarters or semifinals then we will be in top 5 and we'll be able to comfortably seal our berth at Tokyo Olympics.
"It will be difficult to maintain the ranking points. But good thing is we don't have to defend any ranking points early next year because we didn't play from January to April this year," the 22-year-old explained.
Asked about their preparation for the events in China and Korea which is up next for them, Chirag said: "We had full fledged practice sessions for the China Open. We focused on running and agility in the first week and then next two weeks, it was more of on-court training.”
Chirag and Satwik will face Canada's Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura in the opening round at the Victor China Open 2019 commencing from the 17th of September. "We are playing a Canadian pair. Me and Satwik haven't played them but I had faced them at Swiss Open with Pranaav Jerry Chopra. So that experience will count. I know we are coming back from an injury but there is no pressure," Chirag added.