Satwik-Chirag pair pulls out of BWF World Tour Finals due to injury

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, ranked 11th in the world, handed a walkover to top-seeded Indonesian pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo on Thursday.

India’s top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty was forced to withdraw from the ongoing BWF World Tour Finals after the former complained of knee pain.

Satwik and Chirag, ranked 11th in the world, had become the first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the prestigious season-ending tournament after finishing at the semifinal stage of the Indonesia Open Super 1000 tournament last week.

The Indians had lost 16-21 5-21 to Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in their opening Group A round-robin match here on Wednesday and handed a walkover to top seeded Indonesian pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo on Thursday.

“Actually Satwik has been having knee pain for a couple of weeks now. We didn’t really have the time to rest it so he had to play with it. We have decided to rest it now so that we can be ready for world championships,” Chirag told PTI.

“The injury hampers his movement so we decided better to rest it for a couple of days. Because worlds is more important,” added the 24-year-old from Mumbai.

The Indian duo has been seeded eighth and handed a first round bye at the World Championships which will be held in Huelva, Spain from December 12 to 19.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallists, who had to pull out of the 2019 edition of the World Championships due to injuries, are looking forward to competing in this edition.

Asked how Satwik sustained the injury, Chirag said: “He had this since the Olympics but it resurfaced again.”

Satwik and Chirag have been playing continuously since October, having taken part in Thomas and Uber Cup Final, Denmark Open, French Open, Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open before qualifying for the World Tour Finals.

They won all their matches in Thomas Cup and finished at the quarterfinals and semifinals of French Open and Indonesia Open respectively.

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