China Masters: Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Reaches Semi-Final

China Masters, Satwik Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty

The dynamic Indian badminton duo, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy reached their 7th semifinal of the year at the China Masters Super 750. Their quarterfinal victory over the Indonesian duo of Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin showcased their unmatched attacking prowess, prompting former Olympic bronze medallist Chris Langridge to declare, “I think the Indians have the best attack in the world.”

Also Read: China Masters: Tough Day for Indian Shuttlers as Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, and Others Bow Out Early

Despite their consistent success on the court in 2023, there’s a surprising twist to their journey—they have not qualified for the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals. Currently ranked world No. 5 (recently reaching world No. 1), Chirag and Satwik have had a stellar year, securing the Asian Games gold medal, and titles at the Asian Championships, Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500, and Swiss Super 300.

However, the intricacies of the qualification system mean that certain tournament victories, including the Asian Games gold, don’t contribute points towards the World Tour Finals qualification. The regular world rankings, calculated over a 52-week period, only consider the 10 best point tallies in the past year. For the World Tour rankings, a total of 14 tournaments from the Super circuit played during a calendar year can be counted towards the points.

In the case of Chirag and Satwik, the ongoing China Masters is the 14th event, leaving them on the cusp of World Tour Finals qualification. Their incredible year has been marked by an all-or-nothing pattern, with notable successes in tournaments they played well but also experiencing four first-round exits and four second-round exits.

While their absence from the World Tour Finals might raise eyebrows, Chirag and Satwik have prioritized winning major titles over accumulating ranking points. The duo has openly stated that their focus is on claiming significant victories rather than chasing rankings, even after briefly reaching world No. 1.

The road ahead for the Indian pair at the China Masters includes a semifinal clash against the formidable Chinese duo of He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu. Despite being ranked world No. 50, the Chinese pair has recently showcased impressive performances, winning the Japan Masters and reaching the semifinals at the French Open.

As Chirag and Satwik navigate through the competitive badminton landscape, their journey continues to captivate fans worldwide. Their resilience, attacking prowess, and strategic gameplay make them a force to be reckoned with on the international stage, even as they face the curious scenario of missing out on the World Tour Finals despite a stellar 2023 campaign.