New Delhi: Returning from an injury lay-off, India’s leading doubles pairing of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is eyeing a consistent run to break into the top five and seal a spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian duo had broken into the top 10 last month after their 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 Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy ended up with injuries during the tournament and had to skip the prestigious World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
Chirag suffered an abdominal muscle injury and Satwik aggravated a right-shoulder injury and the time away from the circuit affected their ranking as they slipped to World No 15.
Now back to full fitness having undergone a rigorous training schedule, the India duo is looking to go all out at the USD 1,000,000 China Open starting 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,” if we remain alive in the tournament for a long time, Chirag Shetty told this agency.
“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 five 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,” said the 22-year-old Chirag.
Chirag stated that they had really worked hard for the tournaments in China and Korea. “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,” he informed. “We have been varying our shots, mixing our smashes, half-smashes and drops to have a multi-dimensional game.”
Chirag and Satwik will face Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Ny Yakura in the opening round at China.