Thailand Open: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Ashwini Ponnappa during their semi-final defeat.© AFP
Indian mixed-doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa fell to a defeat in the mixed doubles semi-finals of the Thailand Open on Saturday. The Indian duo lost to Thailand’s Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Dechapol Puavaranukroh. The Thai shuttlers won 22-20, 18-21, 21-12. In a match that lasted 59 minutes. Rankireddy and Ponnappa put in a good display but couldn’t prevent a defeat.
The Indian team defeated Malaysia’s Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon in the previous round.
This was the third encounter between the Thai and Indian pairs, with their last fixture being at the Japan Open in 2019. It was won by the Thai duo. In terms of head-to-head, they lead 3-0.
The first game saw a hard-fought contest with both teams trying to get back at each other. With the Thailand pair looking to wrap up the first game, Ponnappa and Rankireddy rallied back and put a lot of pressure on their opponents. But it wasn’t enough, as Taerattanachai and Puavaranukroh kept their cool and settled the first game 22-20.
The energy in the second game was similar to the previous one, but the Indian pair came out on top. The Thailand players tried to gain some momentum in the early stages of the second game, but Rankireddy and Ponnappa staged a turnaround towards the latter stages of the game.
The duo added constant pressure and won the second game 18-21, to take the match to the decider.
The third game started off in a frenzied manner, with Taerattanachai and Puavaranukroh taking an early lead 9-6. The Thailand players began to build on their early momentum and took the decider to 19-11.
Beating of hopes of a late fightback, they sealed the third game 21-12.
They will now face South Korea’s Seo Seung-jae and Chae Yoo-jung in the final on Sunday.
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