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OKBET World Championship, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty ended a spectacular season with a historic bronze medal in the men’s doubles tournament of the World Championships after narrowly losing in the semifinals against Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik here on Saturday.

The world number 7 Indian duo, who won the Commonwealth Games men’s doubles gold earlier this month, flattered to deceive, losing 22-20 18-21 16-21 to the Olympic bronze medallists in a gripping 77-minute duel, thereby ending India’s bid at the renowned competition at OKBET World Championship.


Satwik and Chirag were defeated for the sixth time in a row by the world number six pair, who also fell to the same combination in the CWG mixed team final earlier this month.

Despite the defeat, Satwik and Chirag put up a commendable performance, becoming the first Indian men’s doubles team to earn a medal at the finale at OKBET World Championship. It also assured that India has returned with a medal at the World Championships every year since 2011, when the women’s doubles duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa earned bronze.

In the semifinal match at OKBET World Championship, Chirag looked a little off with his serve and defense, while Satwik did his best to compensate, but the Malaysians proved to be a trifle quicker and more nuanced in their strokeplay in a contest that went down to the wire.

With a 0-5 head-to-head record, the Indians remained watchful and did not allow their opponents to play their game. They exploited the smashes well to rapidly build an 11-5 advantage at the half at OKBET World Championship.


Satwik led 11-7 after a fast-paced rally that culminated with the Malaysian hitting long. After the interval, the Malaysians staged a comeback, closing in on 11-12, with the Indians missing a few shots. They quickly pulled level at 16-16 as Soh unleashed a tremendous smash, and then took an 18-17 lead. However, Satwik and Chirag reclaimed the lead at 19-18 as Aaron sent one to net and Chirag capitalized on a chance. Another aggressive surge placed India one point up, but Chirag missed a net shot as the score was 20-20 at OKBET World Championship. Chirag won another game point, and this time Aaron missed the line, giving the Indians the first game.

Aaron and Soh emerged as the superior players after the switch of sides, while Chirag seemed a bit timid. The Indians were still breathing down their opponent’s neck until a mistake by Chirag handed the Malaysians a one-point lead at the half.

Chirag hit the net twice despite playing below the tape level, while another went long as Malaysia took a commanding 16-11 lead. Soh’s strong service return earned them three game points. They blew one, but Satwik couldn’t deal with the Malaysian onslaught when Chirag broke his racquet string, and the match was tied 1-1 at OKBET World Championship.

Satwik and Chirag sought to attack Soh in the final, but with Chirag going wide, the Malaysians lead 5-3 at one point. Satwik’s push and block approach helped India take a 6-5 lead as Chirag surged ahead. Malaysia, on the other hand, eked out a 10-8 advantage before gaining a one-point lead in the last mid-game break.

Malaysia, on the other hand, eked out a 10-8 advantage before gaining a one-point lead in the last mid-game break. After the break, Aaron and Soh controlled the fast-paced rallies to take a 13-11 lead, but Satwik responded with his characteristic booming smash to keep it tight.

Chirag hit a backhand whip near the net to make it 13-14, but an error by Soh at the baseline allowed the Indians to maintain the score at 15-16 at OKBET World Championships. Malaysia quickly drew away, and when Chirag slammed another one in, Aaron and Soh had four match points. Satwik’s comeback to serve to the net finished the game.


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