Satwik and Chirag’s historic French Open feat

French Open logo 

Our star shuttlers Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy made the entire nation proud by achieving the historic feat of winning a doubles title at the French Open 2022 which was conducted between 25-29 October in Paris, France. After an arduous wait of 39 years, this pair became the second duo only to win a title in the doubles category at the French Open

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy after winning their title

This Indian duo is known for their aggressive play, and started their journey by beating Christo Popov and Toma Popov of France  19-21, 21-9, 21-13(score). Their next setup was with a Malaysian pair, Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee, whom the Indian duo beat by the final score of 21-16 and 21-14. 

Their next match was a tough encounter with Japanese world no.1 seeds Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi. But the Indian pair took this challenge  head on and stunned the top seeds by scoring an impressive 23-21 and 21-18  in the quarterfinals. Interestingly, Chirag and Satwiksairaj were able to defeat this top pair in the earlier French Open contest as well.

Moving on, this impressive pair faced  Koreans Choi Sol Gyu and Kim Won Ho. With their excellent form and passion, Satwik and Chirag were able to beat the no. 1o seeds by a 21-18 and 21-14 in the semifinals.

Being the only Indians left in the tournament, nothing short of winning the gold would have  satisfied this duo. The Indian shuttlers went on to comfortably beat the Chinese Taipei pair by a score of  21-13 and 21-19 in the finals to bring the title home and make the country proud.

The incredible play shown by Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy not only sought them their title but also gained them a no.7 world ranking in the men’s doubles category. This win in the finals also made the duo the first Indian doubles pair to win a BWF Super 750 crown (which is the second highest tournament level in the BWF world tour.. In the past, Chirag and Satwiksairaj had managed to make it to the 2019 finals of the French Open as well but lost the match in the decider set against Indonesian shuttlers Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.

This pair, who were also the Commonwealth Games champions, became the only second Indian duo after Partho Ganguli and Vikram Singh to clinch the French Open title since 1983.

Chirag and Satwiksairaj being all smiles after their historic feat.

This young duo has indeed made the country proud, for whether it was their contribution to the historic Thomas Cup win, the Commonwealth Games gold, or the French Open title. They have shown their caliber and talent in the game and are now looking to achieve shining Olympic glory.

It will not be an easy 2024 Paris Olympics but the entire country will be looking to  the pair and cheering them on so that they bring home an Olympic medal and achieve yet another historic feat.

-Rukmini Salodkar

SY.Bsc. Economics

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